Former Marks and Spencer head of retail operations and property Spencer Sheen has flown to Gatwick Airport to take on its newly created head of retail role.

Sheen will take responsibility for the airport’s 250,000 sq ft of retail space and reports to chief commercial officer Guy Stephenson.

Sheen has spent more than a decade at Marks and Spencer where he held a number of strategic and operational roles in both the UK and overseas. He started out in store management roles across the UK before working in its Israel, Turkey and Indian businesses. More recently, he had responsibility for property and store development planning throughout the UK and Ireland.

Stephenson said: “I am delighted that Spencer has joined the team at Gatwick, bringing with him invaluable experience at one of the UKs most trusted and established retail brands. With his background in Marks and Spencer, Spencer knows what great retail looks like, both in terms of customer service and store environment.

“Shopping isn’t the raison d’etre at Gatwick, but our passengers view shopping and eating as a major part of their overall airport experience and Spencer will be able to help us deliver a great retail operation and environment that passengers will really enjoy.”

Sheen joins the airport ahead of the multi-million pound redevelopment of the South Terminal departure lounge which begins in the New Year.  

He said: “There are some exciting changes taking place at Gatwick. There are already some forward-thinking fashion and catering brands at the airport and I am keen to work with the team and our retail partners to create the very best shopping environment for our passengers.”