Amazon store boss heads to M&S after 4-star closure

Amazon 4 stars in Westfield London
// Ben Hougham, who led Amazon’s 4-star rollout outside the US, will join M&S next week
// Amazon decided to close its 4-star stores around the world earlier this year

Ben Hougham, head of store design at Amazon, who led the development of its 4-star pop-up chain, is set to join M&S.

Hougham was tasked with the UK expansion of Amazon 4 Star, the retail store that sold trending products rated four stars or more on the online giant’s website,

He opened the UK’s first 4-star Amazon store in Bluewater in October last year, which he followed with a store in Westfield London.

However, the online retailer revealed earlier this year that it would close all of its 4-star stores globally, as well as its Amazon books and pop-up stores.

READ MORE: Amazon will close all of its bookstores in the US and UK as its grocery chain expands

Hougham, who spent two years at Amazon, joins M&S next week as Head of Innovation Hub and will “enable new store design innovations to seamlessly integrate into our stores”, according to an M&S spokesperson.

He will work on M&S’ transformative store renewal programme, which is modernizing the way the retailer brings its products to the customer. The retailer describes the strategy as “all about creating magical stores that offer the efficiency of a supermarket and the soul of a fresh produce market”.

The retailer will renew 40 stores in its current fiscal year and these stores will have increased produce, bakery, ambient grocery and frozen food lines, as well as innovative concepts like Fill Your Own, Percy Pig World and wine tasting.

Last month he opened his new concept store in the former Debenhams store at the Roaring Meg shopping park in Stevenage, which included a wine tasting area and a refueling station for items such as pasta, rice and cereal.

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