Mike Hedgecox, People and stores director at Evans Cycles, tells Retail Week about his life working in retail.
What was your first job in retailing?
I joined Bhs as a trainee department manager. It was a great grounding in the key basics of retailing.
Which retail company do you admire most and why?
Apple, because of the enthusiasm of its store teams, the expertise of the Genius Bar, and for helping customers to get the most out of their products.
What is the trait you least like in yourself and why?
My self-confidence can be seen by others as arrogance. I am aware no single person has all the answers and always try to get input from my team.
Who have you learnt most from in your retail career?
Lots of great people. But I will always be grateful to Chris Coe who mentored me in my first merchandising role at Mothercare.
What advice would you give someone starting out in retail?
Talk to your customers as much as you can. They will give you insights but also keep your feet on the ground.
What keeps you awake at night?
Not much, but the poor weather this summer made it a challenging time for sales. However, Team GB and the cycling team success have inspired people to get on their bikes so I can sleep easily now.
What’s the most satisfying part of your job?
I love to see the people I have worked with grow and develop.
What’s your proudest achievement?
Taking the difficult decision to remove personal commission at Currys. It transformed the team ethic at the stores.
What job would you have done if you hadn’t become a retailer?
I have a passion for flying and so would probably have worked in the aviation sector.
What’s your favourite shop and why?
John Lewis on Oxford Street for setting the benchmark for retail execution.
What was your last purchase?
Nutrition bars and drinks to keep me going during our team cycling trip to Suffolk.