Was: Head of buying for Wilkinson
Now: Commercial director for Pets At Home, with responsibility for buying, marketing and multichannel
Years spent in grocery: 23
Career background: Pritchard has worked for Iceland, Sainsbury’s and M&S, but is best-known for his time at Asda where he worked for 12 years and held a number of roles including store development director, fresh foods trading director, business unit director and most recently non-food trading director. He then moved to Wilkinson, where he was head of buying for 16 months.
Biggest achievements in grocery: He played a key role in the launch of Asda’s George standalone stores and Living and Essentials formats.
Biggest difference: “Well first you have dogs running around the office,” says Pritchard. “There are three key differences to my previous role and you can summarise it with three Fs. Faster - I love the lack of layers of decision-making in pets decisions are made and implemented quickly. Fun - we take what we do seriously, but we don’t take ourselves too seriously. Furry friends - having pets in the business changes the dynamics. Everyone here is mad about pets, it brings people together. And best of all it creates a unique atmosphere both in the stores and in our support office.”
Do you miss the grocery sector? “I’m so glad my career started in grocery,” he says. “I have had the good fortune to work with some of the most talented people in retail and it has been an amazing training ground. I sometimes miss the rather manic nature of grocery but overall I have to say I’m much happier where I am.”
Would you go back? “Never say never but there would have to be a compelling reason to return.”