Tesco has hired former Fitch European creative director Simon Threadkell as director of design and format across the group.

Threadkell is already familiar with Tesco, having worked with the retailer on the design of its department stores in Prague and Liberec in the Czech Republic.

The appointment is a sign of Tesco’s commitment to store design - it is unusual for a retailer to hire at a senior level from design agencies.

At Fitch, Threadkell has also previously worked with retailers including Vodafone and Reliance in India.

Separately, it is understood that Tesco is considering opening standalone stores for its F+F clothing brand in the Czech Republic. The retailer currently operates department stores in the country with very little Tesco branding, called My Liberec and My Prague. Non-food features heavily in the stores, which have large areas devoted to F+F and its other clothing brands such as Cherokee.

At its full-year results in April Tesco said the Czech Republic has a strong opening programme and that the outstanding category in non-food was clothing, which delivered double-digit growth.

It is unclear whether Tesco would open a standalone F+F stores in the UK.

Earlier this year, Tesco former clothing head Terry Green said the aim is to make F+F the biggest global fashion brand in five years.