Best Buy Europe (Carphone Warehouse)
Head of Group Buying (Cellular)
2004 - 2009
Superdrug Stores plc
Beauty Trading Director
2002 - 2004
Safeway Stores plc
Lead Buyer Health and Beauty (Hair , Skin, Sun)
1995 - 2002
Boots The Chemists
Graduate Marketing Scheme
Product Manager roles in Healthcare and Beauty businesses
- Jeff Wemyss
- Best Buy Europe (Carphone Warehouse)
- Head of Group Cellular Buying
Q: As a fairly recent addition to the Carphone Warehouse team, what made you choose to join them?
It is a really exciting time to join the Carphone team. The mobile phone market is poised for a new period of exciting growth driven by the increasing availability and affordability of smartphones. With the Best Buy joint venture in place we are now part of the world's biggest electrical retailer as well as being the world's biggest independent mobile phone retailer. I see great opportunities to make a difference in a profitable market and to develop my career in mobile phones and consumer electronics generally.
Q: What is your primary remit?
The Carphone Warehouse operates in nine countries in Western Europe under "the Carphone Warehouse" and "The Phone House" brands. As a group team we share best practice to drive growth in our countries and we coordinate our pan-European buying activities and supplier relationships.
Q: How would you describe the working culture of your current employer?
Carphone has always been a fast-paced, entrepreneurial business and despite the scale of the operation today you still feel that. It's both a customer-focused and results-focused business and the team has a real "can do" attitude to seize the moment, to get things done and to help each other out.
Q: What do you like most about your current role / team and why?
It's a fascinating time to be in mobile phone retailing. In the last few years Apple changed the world with the iPhone launch, Microsoft are about to launch Windows Mobile 7 and Google have entered the fray with the Nexus phone and Android operating system. Meanwhile the traditional manufacturers are all having to fight hard to stay relevant. Given the scale of Carphone Warehouse the group team is right in the heart of the manufacturer strategies for success. Unusually for the industry most of my team are from FMCG backgrounds so we can bring a different perspective to the challenges faced by some manufacturers and find innovative ways of driving growth.
Q: How close do you think that the general public’s view of your employer to the reality?
I think the general public would be surprised at the customer-centricity within the business. Our Net Promoter Score (basically how our customers rate the experience they get from us) is a key element in everyone's targets and there is a massive commitment to create a brilliant customer experience that is perhaps atypical of the industry. For example our store colleagues are not incentivised to sell particular brands or handsets - only to give the customer the perfect solution for them - and the measure of how well we're doing that is in our NPS.
Q: How has the launch of Best Buy Europe impacted on the trading team?
Within the Cellular business the impact has been fairly limited so far. The trading team at Carphone has a strong track record of delivery and the new business clearly wants to preserve the elements that make the team successful whilst adding in a flavour of what has made Best Buy so successful outside Europe.
Q: Integrating the cultures of different businesses is notoriously difficult, how has the processed been managed with Best Buy and how would you assess the process is going?
It's still early days in the integration - after all we're bringing the world's biggest electrical retailer and Europe's biggest independent mobile phone retailer together. After building great networks of contacts we've been comparing notes and sharing ideas to help the total business for the future and secure quick wins.
Q: Would you recommend your employer to a friend and if so, why?
It really depends on which friend! Carphone isn't for everyone. If you thrive in a buying environment that rewards doing things fast whilst still doing them the right way then there's lots of opportunity to make a difference here. You'll need stamina, results focus and a real "can do" attitude and with those elements in place there's so much opportunity to build a successful career in consumer electronics.
If there's an employee you think epitomises your company ethos or you'd like to draw attention to a particular role, why not get in touch with our team right now? Just email: firstname.lastname@example.org.