Three top retailers have been hunting for design heads, with two of the companies restructuring their design departments.
Supermarket chain Tesco is set to announce a new design manager next week. Fashion retailer Benetton is currently restructuring its design department with the appointments of a head of graphics and possibly a head of design.
And according to sources, Somerfield, the supermarket chain owned by the Gateway Group, is also looking to restructure its design department.
Tesco will appoint a manager to take responsibility for packaging design and development of all drinks and non-food lines for its commercial section.
The new post comes after a major restructuring last year (DW 18 February 1994), in which at least three design managers were made redundant.
The purchasing and marketing managers for the chain’s food lines will continue to be responsible for design.
Somerfield is also believed to be thinking about restructuring its design department, say sources close to the group. Paul Day, packaging and design development controller, has left, as has Paul King, director of M&K Design In Store and former design consultant for the group.
Senior design co-ordinator Clare Martin denies that any changes are on the cards. “There is nothing happening and we are not appointing a design head. Nor are we looking for an external advisor, or looking to handle design in a different way,” she says.
At Benetton, the restructuring of the retailer’s non-fashion design department is still in progress, with architect Massimo Vignelli acting as consultant. UK designers are believed to have been included in the shortlist for the post of head of design, but an appointment has yet to be named. The retailer has named Dutch designer Kees Ruyter as its new head of graphics.