Value retailer Matalan has hired its first dedicated head of online and has appointed a former Sainsbury’s executive as part of plans to drive web sales and focus on its value offering.

Wendy Derbyshire has joined as head of online from Jacques Vert where she was director of ecommerce.

Matalan has restructured its buying and merchandising departments to strengthen its core value offer, hiring Jonathan Fitzgerald, Sainsbury’s head of merchandising for womenswear, to the new position of merchandise director. He will start the role in early December.

Commercial director Adrian Mountford said that Derbyshire’s appointment was part of the retailer’s “ambitious plans” for its site.

He said: “We’ll definitely be looking at extending the ranges online. There’s only so much space in-store. Online presents a different set of opportunities.”

The value chain has created a buying director role, responsible for menswear, womenswear, kidswear and home, which is set to be filled by early next year.

Commercial director Adrian Mountford said he wanted a joined-up effort at director level to ensure Matalan will “have a strong team working for me from sourcing, to how it looks in-stores, to selling it.”

The shake-up comes as ladieswear buying controller Angela Bannerman resigned a month ago after having been with the business for nine years. It is not known if she left with a job to go to.