Spar UK has appointed Debbie Robinson as its new managing director.

Robinson, who starts at Spar at the end of the summer, was most recently at JJB Sports where she was marketing director.  She joined the sports retailer in September last year.

Before that Robinson, who will be based at Spar’s head office in Harrow, was director of food marketing at The Co-operative, where she developed store formats across convenience stores and supermarkets.

She was also general manager for brand and retail at Co-op and developed the grocer’s Good with Food TV campaign.

Spar chairman Peter Blakemore said: “We are delighted that Debbie is joining the Spar organisation. She brings with her a wealth of retail experience and her passion and knowledge will be invaluable to our business.”

Robinson said: “I am delighted to be taking on this role; Spar is a fantastic business with a regional structure that is ideally suited to today’s customer needs.  My priority will be to continue to drive the Spar brand forward increasing its relevance with customers and developing the offer to drive sales and profit.”

Spar said its retail sales for the nine months to the end of January have been “solid” but added: “The economic climate is still challenging with more and more competition coming into the convenience sector, and this will continue well into 2012.”

Retail sales rose by 1.66% year-on-year to January 31.