Tesco has reshaped its non-food team as former Sainsbury’s general merchandise chief Richard Jones takes up his post at the retailer.

Jones assumed his role as Tesco UK commercial director for non-food hardlines this week and reports directly to commercial director Richard Brasher. Chris Holmes, who previously held the position, moves across to become commercial director for central European hardlines.

Jones’s move to Tesco has raised fresh speculation about the role of Terry Green, the grocer’s chief executive of UK clothing. Green reports to Brasher too. A Tesco spokeswoman said that would remain the case but that there may be some crossover of responsibilities in non-food hardlines and clothing.

At Sainsbury’s, Jones had responsibility for both non-food and clothing. As director of general merchandise and global sourcing, he is widely credited with leading Sainsbury’s push into non-food, including its clothing drive.

Tesco said its non-food sales performance strengthened a little in its third quarter and that it delivered positive like-for-like growth.

The grocer is to launch a clothing website to rival fashion retailers such as Asos this autumn. Tesco is regarded as having been slower than its competitors in clothing e-tail, having shelved its first online clothing offer after a short trial last year.

Asda started selling its George fashion range online last year on Asda Direct. “Customer buying patterns are changing more quickly in the present climate so we need to be obsessed with customers rather than the competition,” said George managing director Anthony Thompson.