Waitrose has restructured all of its buying teams, with food-to-go and bakery merged under one head of department.
The shake-up, which took place last week, will allow Waitrose to achieve its ambition of doubling the size of its business, British Baker was told. The new framework is headed by Mark Williamson, who becomes commercial director; he was previously Waitrose’s supply chain director.
Former commercial director Richard Hodgson, meanwhile, has left to join Morrisons as its new group commercial director. Under the new structure, the food-to-go and bakery buying departments now share a head of department Jane Hills.
Each division also has a buying manager, reporting to Hills. Adrian Gash joins the bakery team as buying manager for bakery, as well as holding the role of sliced bread buyer. James Dickson remains as bread buyer and Sam Witherington as buyer for pre-packed and seasonal goods, with a vacancy for a buyer of morning goods and patisserie yet to be filled.
Former central buyer for bakery Teresa Lindley has become Waitrose’s buying manager for canned goods and ingredients.
James Dickson told British Baker that putting the bakery and food-to-go departments together would allow Waitrose to exploit synergies between the two areas of the business and push ahead with its expansion plans, including opening Waitrose concessions in Boots outlets.
In March, Waitrose CEO Mark Price announced that the company planned to expand in the UK and overseas, doubling the size of the business. At the time, he said that the retailer wanted to make its products available to as many people as possible by selling in other stores, including an initial deal to sell its goods in potentially more than 700 Boots outlets, with Boots products sold in Waitrose in return.