Ascena Retail Group has named Ronnie Robinson president of its new global sourcing initiative, as the women's wear retailer looks to move to a central sourcing base.

Robinson will lead the initiative, which aims to develop a shared capability that will help each of Ascena's brands develop direct sourcing, proprietary product and enhance profitability, a spokesperson for the company told just-style.

Ascena operates more than 3,800 stores through its Justice, Catherines, Lane Bryant, Maurices and Dressbarn brands.

"Leveraging our sourcing capability across all our brands is an important strategic initiative for Ascena," said president and CEO David Jaffe. "Ronnie's experience and accomplishments make him the ideal candidate to lead this effort."

Robinson has previously worked at Tween Brands - where he was EVP-sourcing and technical design, as well as at Mast, the third-party apparel sourcing business sold by Limited Brands in November 2011. He started his career at UK retailer Marks & Spencer.

Mike Rayden, president and CEO of retailer Tween Brands, which operates the Justice and Brothers branded stores, will serve as executive sponsor of Ascena Global Sourcing (AGS).

"AGS allows us to create a single direct sourcing organisation that supports all Ascena brands. Ronnie's leadership will be instrumental in this critical endeavour," Rayden said.

The announcement comes after the retailer named Linda Heasley as president and CEO of plus-sized clothing chain Lane Bryant, which it acquired last year.