Coles’ head of operations moves to Target

Wesfarmers has recruited the head of operations of Coles, Stuart Machin to run discount department store Target.

The move comes after the shock resignation of Dene Rogers.

Machin has been Coles’ stores and development operations director since 2008, when Wesfarmers bought the supermarket chain started transforming it.

Wesfarmers managing director Richard Goyder said Machin played a vital role in the development and opening of new stores during Coles’ five year turnaround plan.

“He has impressed everyone with his capacity to develop a successful, enthusiastic team with a strong focus on outstanding execution in stores,” he said.

Machin worked in British supermarkets like Sainsbury and Tesco before joining Coles.

"I am delighted to be appointed to lead Target. It is a privilege to lead such an iconic Australian brand and I look forward to getting started,” he said.

Wesfarmers said Rogers resigned so he could take up other opportunities, Brisbane Times reported.

He had been running Target for 18 months before Wesfarmers revealed his resignation today.

Options XPress analyst Ben Le Brun said the market was surprised at Rogers’ resignation but it quickly rallied after news of his replacement came out.

“Even though this would have come as a bit of a surprise – and the market doesn’t like surprises – it will be very glad that Wesfarmers has been able to fill the gap relatively quickly,” he said.

He also added that Wesfarmers’ choice of the new Target head from within its own ranks was also encouraging.

Target is employing a turnaround strategy to enhance customer service and strengthen its mid-tier position.

The department store’s sales for the six months to December 31 rose by 1.2 per cent to $2.1 billion.

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