ACS appoints Spar MD as new chair


The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has appointed Spar managing director Louise Hoste as its new chair.

Effective from November, Hoste succeeds Central England Co-Operative chief executive Debbie Robinson as chair of the board, who has served as chair since November 2019 and will remain on the ACS board.

Hoste joined Spar in September 2019, having previously worked for Walmart in the UK, Canada and Chile in commercial, customer and general management roles.

After leaving Walmart, she was director of category and pricing at Brakes Foodservice, followed by director of customer offer at the Co-op.

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“It really is an honour to be able to support and contribute to all the work that the ACS do, especially as we have seen over the last 18 months how vital the team have been to the sector,” Hoste said.

She joins independent retailer Ramesh Shingadia, continuing in the role of vice-chair.

Shingadia has been a member of the ACS board since 2017 and was appointed to the role of vice-chair in February 2021.

ACS chief executive James Lowman added “Debbie has been a fantastic chair over the last two years, demonstrating incredible commitment to both ACS and the wider convenience sector during some of the most challenging times for retailers in living memory.

“Under Debbie’s inspirational leadership ACS significantly enhanced our support for both retailers and suppliers, and we look to the future in a stronger position than ever.

“I am delighted to be working with Louise as ACS chair. She has been a key part of ACS activity from the board since she joined in 2019, and she was a unanimous and enthusiastic choice to become chair.”

He continued: “Ramesh is as highly-regarded as anyone in our industry and we are delighted he will continue to play a vital supporting role as vice-chair. Louise and Ramesh will lead ACS through the next phase of pandemic recovery and beyond.”

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