Richard Kirk of the Currys and PC World megastore in Birmingham’s Junction 9 retail park is The Tata Consultancy Services Store Manager of the Year.
The Tata Consultancy Services Store Manager of the Year is not so much a store manager as a super manager.
The judges were impressed by Kirk’s ability to balance the commercial task at hand with a passion for his team and the products.
‘He achieved a massive turnaround of the store across every metric, and managed head office brilliantly’
They said: “He has implemented real innovation and leveraged his relationship with suppliers superbly. He achieved a massive turnaround of the store across every metric, and managed head office brilliantly. He’s incredibly energetic and professional.”
Kirk first proved himself as a manager when he opened the Poole megastore in 2010. There he took risks and succeeded through pioneering original merchandising, marketing, and supplier and staff engagement strategies. By the end of his time in Poole, the store had a customer advocacy score far higher than the company average.
Step up to Junction 9
The move to the J9 store did not dampen Kirk’s creative streak. His unusual approach to merchandising caught the judges’ attention, including his use of a fish tank (complete with real fish) to demonstrate underwater cameras, and bringing in tanks from a local army base to promote a video game release.
Kirk has also made efforts to make a name for J9 in the community. He created dozens of work experience placements for local students in the past year, and gained sponsorship from Heart Radio DJs Emma Bunton and Jason Donovan.
Kirk is driven by an impressive work ethic, demonstrated by his decision to launch an in-store ‘Tech Live’ show over the busy Christmas period, which gave live product demonstrations.
The judges liked the fact that his brilliant examples of retail theatre are easy to produce thanks to his great relationship with suppliers.
And the results speak for themselves - J9’s figures are more than impressive. It broke the company record for sales over a six-day period and annual turnover is growing quickly. The store is also the largest contributor to the PC World Business brand, houses one of the most profitable Phones 4U departments and produces a large proportion of Apple sales across the division.
On top of all of that, Kirk has also found the time to connect with his staff. He has more than doubled the amount of training store staff receive, and those great supplier relationships mean technology representatives are willing to provide the training themselves. He also implemented his unique “I am J9” scheme and set the bar for a company-wide colleague engagement and recognition scheme.
Kirk’s hard work does not go unnoticed by his staff and judges paid tribute to the fact that his passion inspired his team Kirk’s win goes to show that store managers need more than just commercial success. His unrelenting dedication to his staff, the local community and the brand is what makes him the Tata Consultancy Services Store Manager of the Year.
Tata Consultancy Services
Tata Consultancy Services is an IT services, consulting and business solutions organisation that delivers real results to global business, ensuring a level of certainty no other firm can match. TCS offers a consulting-led, integrated portfolio of IT, BPO, infrastructure, engineering and assurance services.
This is delivered through its unique Global Network Delivery Model, recognised as the benchmark of excellence in software development. A part of the Tata group, India’s largest industrial conglomerate, TCS has over 276,000 of the world’s best-trained consultants in 44 countries. The company is listed on the National Stock Exchange and Bombay Stock Exchange in India.
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