2 November, 2017

Managing a £9m business within three years

Katie didn’t know what she wanted to so after she graduated. And she says it wasn’t retail that appealed. “It was the lure of the brand.  M&S has a heritage – it’s the sort of place that your granny has heard of.  That’s become a rarity nowadays.”

Just three years after graduation, Katie now manages the Simply Food store in Skipton. “Although I’m personally accountable for a £9m business, my job is predominantly about people. It involves overseeing a team of 50+ and managing three section managers.”

She continues, “I knew the Graduate Scheme was a fast track into management, but I don’t think I fully understood that quite literally you’re in charge of your own segment of a multimillion-pound business.”

Katie discovered that retail management involves more than just retail management. Her regional manager has encouraged her in various other ventures. “Most recently, a colleague and I were challenged to create an 8-week internship for current university students. We did everything from pitching the scheme to a lecture theatre of students, to recruitment, devising the programme, engaging senior stakeholders and coaching the interns.”

There are more development projects on the way for Katie, so that she can understand how some of our amazing products come to fruition. “I’ve arranged to spend some time with different food departments at Head Office, and am really looking forward to meeting some of our product development teams.  Who knows what that will inspire me to do next?”

Katie is impressed by our heritage, because she believes it shows how we’ve managed to remain relevant for over 100 years. “Lots of retailers talk about customer service, but I think M&S have gone a long way to redefine what this actually means for our business,” she begins. “Steve Rowe, our CEO, has said that in everything we do, we must put the customer at the heart of it.  I believe we don’t just talk the talk, but walk the walk. Even our recruitment process is heavily weighted towards the customer.”

Could you manage a £9m business within three years? On our graduate scheme and beyond, anything’s possible. Find out more here.

Inside M&S