Tesco has promoted clothing boss Jill Easterbrook to a new role heading up a number of the grocer’s businesses, including Tesco Mobile and its Irish operations.

Easterbrook, who was appointed as head of clothing for Tesco in September after Richard Jones left to go to Irish supermarket Dunnes, will also be in charge of its One Stop convenience store chain and the Nutri Centre nutritional business, according to The Financial Times.

Jason Tarry, who was chief executive of clothing for Tesco Central Europe, will take over Easterbrooks’ role.  

Sources told the FT that Easterbrook’s new role was designed to provide focus to the UK businesses, as Tesco chief executive Philip Clarke attempts to turn round the core UK chain, following the grocer’s first profit warning in 20 years in January.

A spokesman for Tesco said: “These moves result from good talent planning at Tesco. As one of our most experienced directors, Jill will bring focus and leadership to these important business units. Jason Tarry will lead clothing across UK and Ireland in addition to his existing responsibilities for Central Europe and the F&F brand internationally, allowing us to further leverage the skill and scale of the group.”

Tesco has been feeling the impact of the economic downturn. It reported a 1.5% drop in UK like-for-like sales for the 13 weeks to May 26, a marginal improvement on the 1.6% decline the previous quarter.

The retailer said in June that continued uncertainty over the future of the Eurozone had created “very low” consumer confidence, particularly in Central Europe, impacting areas including clothing.