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Building a store estate that’s fit for the future with industry-leading store operations and empowered colleagues is a key part of our transformation programme. 

We’re therefore adding two new roles to the Retail, Operations and Property leadership team with Will Smith joining us as our Property Director and Helen Milford joining as Retail Director; both will report into Sacha Berendji, Retail, Operations & Property Director. Whilst we have previously had Retail Directors & Property Directors, these roles are both bigger with broader remits. 

Sacha Berendji, Retail, Operations & Property Director at M&S said,

“Building a store estate that’s fit for the future with industry-leading store operations and empowered colleagues is a key part of our transformation programme. We’re therefore adding two new roles to the Retail, Operations and Property leadership team with Will Smith joining us as our Property Director and Helen Milford joining as Retail Director. 

Will Smith’s experience spans property, strategy and general management and he will drive forward our plans to create a store estate fit for the future. He will have accountability for every aspect of our property function including our newly formed asset management team and extensive property portfolio. 

Helen has an outstanding track record and she will be supported by two new Heads of Division with the right breadth and depth of experience to deliver our mission to be the best retail operator with the most engaged and empowered colleagues in UK retail.” 

We are building a world-class team across M&S and I’m delighted to welcome Helen and Will to the business as we drive our transformation forward at scale and at pace.” 

Further Detail – Will Smith 

  • Will Smith is joining as Property Director. 
  • He is joining from Asda where he is Vice President of Real Estate, Facilities and Market Development; having joined Asda as MD of Netto when Asda bought Netto.
  • He will look after the whole of our Property function including Asset and Estate Management, Acquisitions and Disposals, construction delivery, and health and safety.

Further Detail – Helen Milford 

  • Helen Milford is joining as Retail Director. 
  • She is joining from JS Argos where she is Director of Retail on the Management Board. Prior to this she held several roles across retailers including Boots and Asda.
  • Helen will lead our 70,000 store colleagues managing four heads of division (this was previously three but we’ve added an additional colleague to ensure our stores are as efficient as possible with empowered colleagues which trade as effectively as possible).
  • Helen will be supported by our four heads of division, Laura Mitchell (North) and Ken Sculley (Ireland), who were recently joined by Alex Hanson (Central, from Arcadia) and Mark Henry (South, from Lidl)