Matalan hands top role to ex-M&S digital and data chief

Matalan 2Cut-price designer chain Matalan is continuing to ramp up its customer marketing operation by appointing former Marks & Spencer chief digital and technology officer Jeremy Pee to a board advisory role.

Pee, who joined M&S in 2018 to lead its digital transformation strategy, left in August just months after being promoted to a wider role. At the time, M&S said he was going back to Canada “in a planned move”.

During Pee’s time at the company, M&S revamped the Sparks loyalty programme, ditching the physical cards and relaunching it as a digital-only scheme, hosted through an updated M&S App.

Jeremy_PeeIt also beefed up its Data Academy, run with Decoded. In addition, M&S trialled a paid-for ‘VIP’ Sparks Plus loyalty club and a virtual clothing try-on service. It also moved to boost personalisation efforts by snapping up the intellectual property of defunct fashion marketplace Thread.

Prior to M&S, Pee worked with Canada’s largest retailer, Loblaw, where he established an online division. He has also held senior roles at office suppliers Staples and Vasanti Cosmetics.

Matalan chair Karl-Heinz Holland said: “We are delighted to welcome Jeremy to the board. He brings deep retail experience and unparalleled expertise in digital and technological transformation.

“I know both will prove hugely valuable as we refine and deliver Matalan’s omnichannel strategy to serve families better. We look forward to working with Jeremy as we continue to transform the business.”

The move follows the appointment of former Co-op executive Ali Jones as chief customer and omnichannel officer in April.

Jones, who was customer and community director at the Co-op Group from 2018 to 2022, had previously held senior brand and marketing roles at Woolworths Australia, Debenhams, M&S, Next and Arcadia Group.

Matalan said her initial focus will be establishing the new unit to connect all customer touchpoints and provide further clarity and accountability for its customers. All marketing, ecommerce and international teams will now sit within the customer and omnichannel function.

In March, the retailer appointed former Co-op Food chief executive Jo Whitfield as CEO of the group. At the Co-op, she was responsible for the company’s retail, wholesale, online and franchise businesses, as well as its property division. She oversaw revenues of £10.8bn in 2021 and was responsible for over 55,000 employees.

The retailer works with a number of agencies on its advertising and marketing business, including Havas Media Group, Journey Further and McCann Manchester.

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