Richard Frear

Frear: “I make sure people love my bit of Tesco.”

It’s always tough to pick a winner for the Grocer 33 Store Manager of the Year award. This year was no different. However, after a tense afternoon of judging, Tesco’s Richard Frear became the first-ever Tesco store manager to win the award.

He was up against stiff competition. The store managers contesting the annual award are the best of the best - and it showed. They all impressed the judges with their presentations.

But Frear edged ahead, thanks to a presentation in which he highlighted the strategic, empowering and fun approach he had taken in a 17-month stint at Tesco Extra in Cardiff before his promotion to GSM at the Tesco Extra in Purley.

When he arrived at Cardiff, only 22% of shoppers rated the customer experience as excellent. Within a year, the figure had increased to an incredible 86%. He also shone during the Q&A that followed, with his honesty, and mastery of detail.

Frear joined Tesco 22 years ago as “a hapless trainee with no intention of a career in retail. And as my manager said shortly after I joined, ‘Frear, you have no career in retail’.”

He also admitted to a critical reception when he is out socialising and reveals he works for Tesco. “You can struggle to find someone that loves Tesco. So I go back to my own store and work out how to make sure people love my bit of Tesco.”

Speaking to The Grocer after his win, Frear said: “I feel very proud to have won the award. It was an honour to represent Tesco during the whole process. It’s great recognition for the Cardiff Pengam Team. This is one of the highlights of my career so far!”


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Chris Thompson

Sainsbury’s Newport - 24 Aug


Scott Whittaker

Waitrose Great Malvern - 11 May


Mike Dadge

Morrisons Shrewsbury - 16 Nov

Store manager of the year: how the winner was decided

The five contestants were nominated by their respective supermarkets after winning The Grocer 33 Store of the Week competition. They each made a 10-minute PowerPoint presentation before being grilled for another 10 minutes by a distinguished panel of judges: John von Spreckelsen, chairman of BUT SA France Tony Gregg, owner, Anthony Gregg Partnership Steven Esom, chairman, BRCT, British Retail Consortium Lorraine Hendle, executive director, grocery & retail at WRBM and Adam Leyland, editor of The Grocer.


The Grocer Gold Awards 2013 - Grocer of the Year