A taste of success
When Lesley first joined the M&S Pantheon store aged 16, she could never have envisaged that she’d still be thriving here 33 years later. That initial short-term role turned into a nine-year spell in the store where she worked her way up to the role of Food Supervisor. Lesley then joined our Head Office in Food Supply Chain and, over the last 15 years, she has undertaken various roles as a Food Buyer, covering a broad range of categories.
“Today, my role covers Eat out at home, Hospitality and ‘Deli Counters & Bars,” she explains. “As well as food buying, I’m responsible for new business projects for hospitality. What I love about my role is the fact that I’m empowered to make decisions. I’m working in a team with colleagues in both our Head Office and in the stores, launching wonderful new food developments. It’s really fast-paced, exciting and rewarding work.”
The thing that attracted Lesley to M&S in the first place is something she says continues to make it a great place to work today – the brand.
“M&S is a great brand. And it’s never afraid of innovating or driving change. I am truly passionate about our brand – the first things I show our new joiners are our stores and our amazing products. We’ve created something that I want to be around for another 125 years, so I want to make sure that we’re always improving, and that we stand by all the things that differentiate M&S from other retailers.”
Lesley has not only experienced an amazingly diverse range of roles, she’s also had the support she’s needed to succeed in them.
“M&S has always supported my development and there have been plenty of courses to meet my needs. The people here are fantastic too – they’re hardworking, fun, passionate and collaborative. The highlight of my working week is seeing the success when all of our hard work comes together.”
For Lesley, the M&S value that resonates the most is innovation.
“Our deli counters have to be best-in-class within our foodhalls. So we have to stretch our boundaries every day to ensure we stand out from all of our other amazing foodhall products. I am a big believer in encouraging our store teams to feedback on what is and isn’t working so that we can make the right decisions and embed a positive change culture.”
So what advice would Lesley give to new joiners?
“It’s important to have fun and to get to know people. You should never be afraid to ask for help. And if you work hard, the rewards and success will follow.”
Lastly, we asked Lesley about her favourite M&S product.
“It’s really hard to single out one above the others. I love our scampi, our jam sandwich biscuits and our Cheese Tasters – though not at the same time obviously.”
To find out more about Head Office roles at M&S, click here.