2006 to Present
Store Manager, Hassocks
Budgens Stores / David Knight Retail Ltd
Store Manager, East Horsley
Budgens Stores Ltd
Store Manager, Lightwater
Budgens Stores Ltd
Assistant Manger, Cranleigh
Budgens Stores Ltd
- Nick Davey
- David Knight Retail Ltd, trading as a Budgens store
- Store Manager
Q: What made you choose to join your current employer?
I have always enjoyed working in a Budgens store - the company was always a small retailer in comparison to larger supermarkets and you could deal with people at all levels on a one-to-one basis when it was all corporate. However, you always had to follow the company's policies - now that the store is franchised I have more say as to what is sold in the store and I work very closely with the owner to make the best decisions for the business.
Q: What is the basic function/purpose of your current role?
As the store manager, ultimately everything that goes on in the store is my responsibility. On a day-to-day basis, I have to make sure that everyone is doing their job correctly and efficiently, control costs, identify sales opportunities, maintain standards and customer service and generally make the customer's experience in the store as pleasant and worthwhile as possible. I also work with my staff to progress their careers.
Q: How relevant were your qualifications to you getting the job?
At school I achieved CSEs and a couple of O` levels, but I think to be a store manager running a business such as this, experience is the key thing and the best way you get that is from starting at the bottom and working your way up. Dealing with and managing people is something you learn over time as well. Although courses in people management may help, experience counts for everything!
Q: Describe some of the key tasks involved in performing your current role and the frequency with which you have to perform them.
Some of my key tasks are looking at the availability in the store, seeing why there may be gaps on the shelves, (you can't sell empty space!) and addressing this with the relevant people. I also look at potential loss drives and see what can be done about these, as well as adding new products to the store, the latest on the market, so that we keep the customers interested in coming back.
Q: What’s the first thing you do when you arrive at work each day?
The first things I do when I arrive at work each day are check the sales figures for the previous day, walk around the store to see if there are any issues that I should be aware of, speak to all the staff who may be in store at that time and then plan out the rest of my day.
Q: How big is the team in which you work?
Currently in the store I have two assistant managers and 34 staff spread out over seven days. However, as sales have continued to rise I have had to increase the staffing to maintain the efficient running of the store.
Q: Describe how your job interacts with the rest of your team.
As it is a small business a lot of what goes on is dependent on the team's productivity and multi-skilling. I am constantly communicating and interacting with my team all day to keep the store ticking over at its best. I also listen to any ideas the team may have to make things even better.
Q: How would you describe the working culture of your current employer?
David Knight Retail Ltd is a young company run by David Knight who used to be a Budgens store manager and executive. He has continued to maintain the Budgens model, but adapted it to be more local with many regional products. The company is associated with other local businesses and organisations, has good internal communication and is run as a "family business" where everyone benefits from its success.
Q: What career avenues do you hope to be able to pursue in the next: two years, five years & ten years?
I enjoy what I do very much and am quite passionate in the job I am in. I have no plans to change, but as the business grows I hope to be part of that as time goes on and as the company invests in other stores to help with the running of those as well.
Q: What do you like most about your current role and why?
I like being in control of my store and I can choose what I prioritise during the day. There are many things that I have to do, but it's a lot like being your own boss! Also, making important decisions for the future gives me a lot of job satisfaction.
Q: What did you/do you find hardest about your current role?
Having 25 years experience I don't really find anything hard, I sometimes get frustrated with things I can't control or have to put right, but there isn't anything that I can say I find hard or difficult to do - I've seen it all over the years!
Q: How close do you think the general public’s view of your employer is to the reality?
Some people still think that, as we trade as a Budgens store, we are still owned by a large corporate company and not a small family-run business as we are now. This can be frustrating sometimes as these people don't always understand some of the logistics of a small business in terms of staffing, costs and pricing even though we are very competitive in comparison with other retailers!
Q: Would you recommend your employer to a friend and if so, why?
If someone was looking for a career in food retailing then I would recommend them to come and work for us. Although a small business at present with one store, this will grow over time. The jobs in the store are very varied with lots of multi-skilling and opportunities to learn more and although times are tough the company has a good future and will continue to build upon its employees' strengths well into years to come.
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