Sainsbury’s has appointed a strategy director to accelerate its growth.

The grocer has hired Luke Jensen, a partner and head of the retail and consumer strategy practice at strategy consultancy OC&C, for the newly created role, according to The Times.

Jensen will report to Sainsbury’s chief executive Justin King.

It is thought his remit will cover exploring acquisition opportunities, expanding the retailer’s convenience store estate and overseas expansion.

Retail Week reported that Sainsbury’s has lodged a provisional first-round bid for about 350 of up-for-sale local grocery chain Somerfield’s stores ( Retail Week, February 15).

Sainsbury’s is also thought to be mulling the launch of a chain in the Middle East, although the grocer said it had no plans for the region ( Retail Week, February 8).