Talking to Tesco
As the Operations Director for Tesco Northern Ireland, Brendan Guidera manages retail operation and performance, finance, commercial, regional marketing and HR. He is also accountable for the weekly financial performance of the Northern Ireland business to his head office colleagues in Britain. Here he talks about the key issues facing his sector.
What is the best part of your job?
Working collaboratively with various people and functions, day in day out, to deliver the best offer we can for customers. I also take great pleasure in seeing our colleagues develop themselves through the business.
What aspect of your job do you find the most challenging?
There are never enough hours in the day to do everything we would like to do to make shopping better for Tesco customers in our 50-plus stores across Northern Ireland and to develop our colleagues to help them realise their full potential. It’s a constant re-check to ensure we prioritise what is right for our customers.
Is retail facing a tough environment at the moment?
As with Britain, the increased presence and profile of hard discounters means we need to keep our momentum going with the ‘prices down, staying down’ campaign currently under way to reduce prices on essentials. We also need to ensure our entry price-point Everyday Value range continues to offer great quality at low prices. In addition shoppers are visiting the convenience sector more and we need to ensure that Tesco is able to meet that need.
How is your organisation responding to these issues?
It’s a matter of keeping prices down and offering customers great value for money. The ‘prices down, staying down’ campaign and Everyday Value are two key vehicles for doing this. In terms of the convenience sector, in the last year we opened two new Express stores which are performing well, on Belfast’s Ormeau Road and in Larne, and we anticipate opening more Express stores over the coming weeks and months. In larger stores, we try to stock ‘pick-up’ products close to the front of the stores, a convenience offering if you like to make it easy for shoppers to drop in and out quickly.
What is the biggest goal on your agenda for the year ahead?
To deliver the plan my team and I have prepared for Tesco Northern Ireland for the next 12 months – it’s difficult to pick one thing out.
If you had to give one piece of business advice, what would it be?
Remember to think of the following in how you go about your working day: collaboration; innovation; empathy; resilience and responsiveness.