Retailer recruitment: ICA Sweden launches new competence centre

Stockholm / SE. (ica) ICA Sweden is creating a new business area – «Store Competence Centre» with the task of strengthening the entrepreneurship of ICA retailers and creating the conditions for developing even more successful stores. The head of the new business area will be Ann Hennicks, who will leave her current role as HR Director for ICA Sweden. Ann Hennicks will be replaced by Maria Lagerstam, who will take over as the new HR Director for ICA Sweden at the beginning of March. Maria comes from the role as Senior Vice President People and Culture at Iver and will be part of ICA Sweden’s management team.

Maria Lagerstam has for many years worked in various HR roles both in Sweden and internationally at companies such as Unilever/GB Glace, Anticimex and McDonalds. Her experience ranges from working in companies with great entrepreneurial spirit, big heart, strong growth to working with development in businesses that need to continue to drive the market and maintain their strong values.

Eric Lundberg, CEO of ICA Sweden: «Ann Hennicks is one of our most experienced leaders who is now moving on to a new important strategic role close to our core business, where the development of behaviour is central. I want to thank Ann for her successful efforts during 31 years where she has driven major changes in the HR area.

«I am also very pleased to welcome Maria Lagerstam as the new HR Director for ICA Sweden. Maria has a solid background in HR from various leadership roles and a broad experience of change and development projects. With her deep interest in people and their abilities and her commitment to the business, she will be able to add a lot to ICA Sweden.»

Maria Lagerstam, incoming HR Director of ICA Sweden: «I am proud of and look forward to being part of a company that takes responsibility and drives issues that are important to society, is built by strong entrepreneurs and is a company that has a natural place in society. ICA stands for caring, heart and development and there are fantastic employees who make a difference every day. I hope that my experience will be able to contribute to the next stage of ICA’s development journey and I am sure that I will learn a lot along the way.»

Store Competence Centre brings together both ICA Skolan and retailer recruitment in one and the same business area and aims to strengthen the recruitment process with proactive planning of retailer supply in close cooperation with both the ICA retailers’ association and the sales and marketing organisation at ICA Sweden, and to strengthen ICA’s ability to attract and develop the right skills both centrally and in stores.

Ann Hennicks, incoming head of ICA’s new competence centre: «I am happy and proud to lead this initiative. In the changing world we live in, skills issues are more important than ever and working with our retailers on these issues is a dream job. There is great commitment to this new business area from both the retailers and the company, and we have many exciting initiatives ahead of us.»

Together with other parties within ICA Sweden, ICA Handlarnas Förbund and ICA Gruppen, the competence centre will coordinate and organise stronger support for ICA stores in areas such as employer responsibility, employer branding and strategic skills supply.

ICA Sweden is the leading grocery retailer in Sweden. With a focus on food and meals, ICA Sweden wants to make every day a little easier. The approximately 1’300 independent ICA retailers own and operate the stores themselves. ICA Sweden has agreements with the retailers regarding joint purchasing, logistics, market communication and store development. ICA Sweden is part of ICA Gruppen.