“I only came to help out a friend one day in the warehouse and then the manager asked me to stay on. I had just completed a business course so I thought I’d only stay for the summer but I’m still here almost forty years later.
I love the buzz of retail and dealing with people. The first day I joined I just wanted to know all about the best-selling products. I had a passion for retail from the outset. I love new trends, the competition in the market, understanding what people are buying, what’s the latest fad. I love it all.
I’ve had a lot of different roles in Tesco. I’ve worked in almost every in-store role up to store manager level. I then moved to managing larger and more complex stores before I became area manager of the South West which is my current role.
The most enjoyable part of my job has to be watching people develop through the organisation – seeing people grow in confidence and stature and also grow as people. Recently we appointed a manager to one of our Cork stores. I remember hiring him and telling him he could become store manager so I was very proud to see his achievement.
Last year I was given a project to review how we merchandise our produce. I did a lot of research up and down the country, looking at local and international best practice and trialling some ideas in a local Tesco store. I was delighted when all of our recommendations were rolled-out to every store in the country.
It’s really important for us to know we are making a contribution locally. Recently a customer who volunteered for Ballincollig Tidy Towns needed support so we were able to give them a Community Fund donation. We then went a bit further by inviting the group into the store every Tuesday for tea and sandwiches after they do the tidy up – it’s well deserved for the great work they do in the town. We also donate plants which they use for the hanging baskets around Ballincollig.
The diversity in Tesco is great. No matter what your background is, there is a position for you and we embrace diversity.
Outside of work I go running along the local estuary every evening. Sometimes my wife comes and then we end up competing against each other!”