Waitrose has recruited former Marks & Spencer marketing director Nathan Ansell as its new customer director to help develop its multichannel strategy and put lifetime customer loyalty at the heart of its proposition.
With over 20 years’ retail experience, Ansell will join in January from consumer agency House 337. Prior to that he worked at M&S for a decade, latterly as marketing director.
Ansell has also held a number of FMCG marketing roles for brands including Heinz, Birds Eye and Red Bull. He succeeds Martin George, who has been at Waitrose for the past five years.
Ansell will report to Waitrose executive director James Bailey, who said: “In a climate where customer trust has rarely been more important, the Waitrose brand stands head and shoulders above all others with our commitment to quality, value, service and sustainability.
“We see huge potential to grow the brand and reach new customers. I’m delighted to welcome Nathan who shares our values and brings a broad set of skills and experience to this critical role.”
His appointment follows the launch of a major recruitment drive by parent organisation the John Lewis Partnership to bring on board more than 150 new tech and data staff to help deliver customer-facing projects on both Waitrose and John Lewis websites.
Ansell said: “I’m a lifelong admirer of the Waitrose brand with its clear and compelling purpose as an employee-owned organisation and its unrelenting delivery of superior quality and outstanding customer experience.
“I’m honoured to join the team and can’t wait to get started further strengthening the brand and helping to build lifetime customer loyalty.”
Earlier this week, Waitrose was forced to change a part of its Christmas ad that showed two farmers comparing sun tans after it was criticised by skin cancer charity Melanoma UK and skin cancer patients.
The supermarket has also issued an apology for a clip that critics claimed glorified tans and failed to highlight the dangers of sun exposure.
The spot showcases the hard work that Waitrose suppliers put in throughout the year, finishing with the message that “it’s the care we put in that makes Christmas this special”.
Waitrose has now deleted the clip and released an amended version of the ad. A spokesperson said: “While we included some light-hearted and ‘true to life’ moments, we’ve listened to the comments made about the serious message of sun safety.
“Our ad celebrates the care and effort that our partners and real farmers – who work in all weathers – put in to make sure our customers have what they need for Christmas.”
John Lewis Partnership hunts 150 tech and data experts
Grey revolt: Waitrose forced to rethink digital strategy
Waitrose and John Lewis offer online health workshops
Rapp beats off rivals to net secret Waitrose CRM project
Waitrose hires Eagle Eye for digital marketing boost