Chief executive, The Works

What was your first job in retailing?

I was a trolley boy at Sainsbury’s.

Which retail company do you admire most and why?

In 2002, I went on a retail study tour where I was lucky enough to spend time with some of the world’s best retailers, and out of all of these, Wegmans in New York state stood out. Its “we are a people business, we just happen to sell groceries” philosophy created the best store standards I have ever seen.

Who have you learnt most from in your retail career?

I will always be grateful to my first managers in Sainbury’s, Jim Rooney and Mark Salmon, who inspired me to make retail my career.

What is the trait you least like in yourself and why?

I am a very positive person but can also be very impatient with negativity.

What advice would you give someone starting out in retail?

Firstly, don’t be too proud to start at the bottom, work hard and always be passionate about the product you sell. Secondly, however high you rise up the retail ladder, never let a week go by without spending time in your stores.

What keeps you awake at night?

The Ireland rugby team losing.

What’s the most satisfying part of your job?

Leading a talented team who share my passion and seeing people I have mentored fulfil their potential.

What’s your proudest achievement?

In my personal life it was becoming a father and in my work life it was delivering a +12% like-for-like sales performance at Christmas.

What job would you have done if you hadn’t become a retailer?

A professional rugby coach

What’s your favourite shop?

My favourite bricks-and- mortar store is Eatzi’s in Dallas and my favourite online store is Surfdome.com.

What was your last purchase?

A Horrible Histories boxset for my daughter for £19.99 at Theworks.co.uk

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