Marks & Spencer has promoted Karl Doyle to the role of trading director for kidswear.

Doyle has held the position on an interim basis, before which he was kidswear head of merchandising for the retailer.

He assumes control as the battle for market share in the category hots up. A study by Mintel in February revealed that grocers had become the market leaders by value in kidswear for the first time.

Other retailers are also attacking the £5bn market. This month River Island will launch its first kidswear range in stores and online.

M&S executive director of general merchandise Kate Bostock was confident of Doyle’s abilities. She said: “Karl has done a fantastic job over the last eight months and has made a real impact in kidswear, which continues to go from strength to strength.”