Marks & Spencer has appointed a new retail operations director as it pushes forward with its transformation strategy. 

The retailer has hired Alastair Brass for the role. He joins from Centrica and has previously worked for Dixons Carphone.

Brass, who joins in April and will report to M&S director of retail, operations and property Sacha Berendji, will be in charge of “building a store estate that’s fit for the future with industry-leading retail operations and empowered colleagues” as part of the retailer’s Never the Same Again transformation programme.

He will be responsible for all aspects of retail operations including customer and central operations, clothing and home operations, food and UK franchise operations and retail efficiency.

M&S said: “Alastair will utilise the wealth of experience in central operations, customer service and transformation he’s acquired during his time at Centrica, Dixons Carphone, Capita and Thomas Cook, as he helps to drive forward the M&S transformation and develop industry-leading operations.”

Brass said: “M&S is a much-loved brand and has built its reputation on outstanding customer service. I’m incredibly excited to become part of the leadership team driving its transformation and help deliver a retail experience that is fit for future.”

At Centrica, Brass is currently customer contact director and was previously transformation director.

He has previously spent two spells at Dixons Carphone, most recently as transformation change director, and worked on Dixons and M&S relationships as an ex-partnership managing director of Capita.

Separately, M&S Bank revealed it is “transforming its product and service offering to create a digitally enabled and uniquely rewarding shopping and payment experience for M&S customers”.

Due to launch in the summer, this will include a new reward credit card offering and a digital payment solution for M&S’ growing Sparks customer base.

The new proposition will “support M&S’ Never the Same Again programme by enabling easy and rewarding ways to pay when shopping at M&S” for M&S Sparks loyalty scheme members, as well as bank customers.

As part of the changes, M&S current accounts will be closed, as well as 29 in-store bank branches.

M&S Bank said: “With the acceleration of online shopping, particularly since the start of the pandemic, customers are increasingly choosing to bank online, including mobile. In response to this, M&S Bank will move to online and telephony servicing, enabling customers to access their accounts at a time that suits them.”