29 October, 2018


Nicola hadn’t worked in retail before she joined M&S and didn’t really know what to expect. But it turned out to be “one of the best decisions I ever made”. As a Customer Assistant in Womenswear at our Middlesbrough store, Nicola was made to feel welcome from day one. Now she loves helping our customers, working with colleagues in a warm, friendly and respectful culture and giving her best.

Especially at Christmas, when the store truly comes alive. “My first Christmas with M&S will always stick in the memory. It was extremely busy but that made it all the more enjoyable, and it was amazing how dramatically the store layout and backstage areas changed to make space for all the festive lines. It was like a completely different store,” she remembers.

It wasn’t a one-off, either. “There’s a magical atmosphere in store over Christmas every year, a real buzz that’s shared by customers and colleagues. Everyone is so productive, and there’s a lot of satisfaction in a job well done” she says. “The store’s footfall changes during the festive period and last year in particular my knowledge of Gift Shop products grew massively, which enabled me to answer all the questions customers threw at me. One thing I’ve learned is that it takes a lot of effort and preparation to get ready for our peak time of year.”

That’s not the only thing Nicola has learned during her time with M&S. She has completed a Retail Apprenticeship and this has given her a great insight into how we produce and dress our products. “I’ve been able to see just how much goes into making sure our products are of the highest quality,” she says. “We’re a team of perfectionists – did you know that our melt-in-the-middle chocolate pudding took 18 months to develop?”

Nicola loves her job – and she loves her 20% staff discount. “Now I know our product ranges, there are things I simply wouldn’t buy anywhere else. I’m going to need a new coat for this winter and I’ve already spotted the one I want on our shop floor!”

Find out more about our Christmas job opportunities here.
Inside M&S