Congratulations on winning this week's Top Store Award. Have you always wanted to be a manager? Actually, no. I went to university and studied for a degree in bi-medical science. However, after a while I realised that it was not quite for me, and didn't want to take it any further. I had been working part time in retail, and so when I left university I ended up taking a management role at Aldi, and then moved over to Somerfield a little while later.I have worked for Somerfield for three years and am thoroughly enjoying it.
How long have you been at the Hale store? I have only been here for three months. I joined from Somerfield's Sale store, where I had been for some time.
How does the Hale store compare with others you have worked in? Hale is quite different as it was a former Safeway and has only recently been converted over to a Somerfield.As a result, the store has a real mix of workers - about 50% are former Safeway or Morrisons staff, while the other half are new recruits. However, we all work really well together, and there is a great team spirit here. The store is about 20 years old, and although the sign above the door has changed, there have not been a great deal of alterations inside. There is talk of us getting a revamp - which would be great.
What do you enjoy the most about your job? The people development side of the business is definitely one of the best things. With half the team being new, we have had to do quite a lot of training and coaching - which can be hugely rewarding.
What are your plans for 2006 and beyond? Maintaining the high standards that your mystery shopper reported, such as availability and customer service, will of course be of paramount importance. I would also like to take the store through a revamp. I plan to stay here for some time, although one of the great things about Somerfield is that you have the opportunity to keep moving around. There are many opportunities within the company; that's definitely one of the perks of the job."