With a focus to grow its food and grocery department, Metcash has appointed Silvestro Morabito to the new position of chief operating officer (COO) food and grocery.

Andrew Reitzer Metcash CEO said the appointment comes at a time where independent grocery retailers need to play a greater role in the industry to ensure their sustainability.

“At a time when retail trading conditions continue to be difficult, the creation of a COO Food & Grocery will allow us to realise synergies within the company and more easily seize growth opportunities as they arise,” he said.

“Consumers want to have the choice of where to shop and with whom, many Australians want to continue to shop locally in stores that are family owned and operated. Our new COO’s primary focus will be protecting and developing the independent grocery sector.”

As well as continuing to oversee IGA Distribution, Morabito will assume responsibility for Campbells Wholesale, IGA Fresh, and all food and grocery merchandising and marketing.

Morabito has over 31 years experience in grocery wholesaling and retailing both locally and internationally. He has held a number of senior roles at Metcash including general manager WA IGA Distribution and he has been CEO of IGA Distribution since 2010.