Waitrose has appointed Rob Collins as its new retail director, who will take the position from January 2012.

Taking over from Tony Solomons, who is set to retire after 30 years in the business, Collins will lead retail operations for the John Lewis Partnership-owned supermarket’s nationwide branches. He will also be responsible for the business’ e-commerce, convenience and hospitality offers.

Helen Hyde, Waitrose’s divisional registrar, is likely to fill Collins’ previous role of retail personnel director, which he has been in since April 2010.

Mark Price, Waitrose’s managing director, said: “Both Rob and Helen bring to their new roles a wealth of experience and a proven track record within Waitrose – their leadership will be invaluable to their respective directorates as we enter the exciting next stages in our development.”

Collins has been with the group since 1993, when he started the John Lewis Partnership’s graduate training scheme. He has worked as managing director for John Lewis’ Aberdeen and Cribbs Causeway stores, moving across to Waitrose as director of e-commerce in 2007 after his position as director of selling support for John Lewis.