I joined Budgens eight years ago on the franchise side and have been in my current role for 18 months. Prior to Budgens, I worked for Pizza Hut. I began my career at Waitrose in store management.
What are your current responsibilities?
I perform a store liaison role, dealing with upgrades and refits, introducing product ranges and enabling managers to take advantage of new operating systems.
I also promote local sourcing and ‘special needs’ stores. These are shops where either the whole offer is non-standard, for example, those at railway stations, or only part of the store is non-standard. For example, they might have a larger than average off-licence section or ranges catering specifically for children if they are close to schools.
What projects have you been working on during the past year?
I worked with regional food group Taste of Anglia on the roll-out of locally sourced products to eight stores.
We’ve also been working with 13 suppliers in Kent through another group, Kentish Fare. We plan to extend the offer, which is limited to certain stores, to the whole country.
I have also been involved with rebranding of Budgens Express stores to Budgens Quickstop, including the introduction of lines and ranges to those stores. And I have been involved in ongoing franchising, either through the opening of stores or the development of existing stores.
What is the most difficult part of your job?
Balancing the needs of the small, independent suppliers against the needs of Budgens and our individual franchisees for the best merchandising, ranging and in-store offer. It’s hard to find a middle ground that delivers the right offer to the customer.