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Careers by design with Wickes

Wickes Editorial

Part of the Travis Perkins group, Wickes is a growing brand with over 200 stores nationwide and more planned in the near future. We asked two colleagues, Store Manager Elaine and Chief Operating Officer Mike, what they love about working for Wickes and managed to get some inside tips on how you can make your application stand out from the crowd.

Wickes will be at Retail Appointment Live on 4th - 5th February so sign up for free to discuss how you can join Wickes and start building a great career.

Elaine •  Store Manager

Elaine joined Wickes as a part time cashier whilst attending college but when she finished her studies she decided to join the company full time. She was set on managing her own store and very quickly worked her way up through various supervisory positions. Finally, in 2011 she achieved her goal and now manages the Wickes store in St Albans. In 2015 she was awarded Store Manager of the Year.

How would you describe the culture at your company?
Wickes is a great place to work with family values. It has a ‘one-team’ approach with a close relationship to our support centre (head office). Besides all this we also believe that every colleague is multi-skilled in all areas of the business and we also make sure that we are having fun as this helps with the productivity of the team and their training and development.

What keeps employees engaged at Wickes in your opinion?
We believe in making sure that our colleagues come first in everything that we do, if they are happy our customers are happy and this helps drive results. With a great leadership team, colleagues are motivated and driven to support a winning culture. As part of our five-year strategy we have an ambitious growth plan with new store openings, which will mean great career progression for existing colleagues and opportunities for new colleagues.

What makes you proud about working for Wickes?
Most importantly I’m proud of supporting my colleagues through a recent culture change and delivering excellent standards and results with the right training and development programmes. And of course, being chosen for the Store Manager of the Year for 2015, I felt a sense of achievement!

Describe something that has got you really excited about working for Wickes in the past year?
I was really proud to see the opening of our St Albans store with the new Wickes store format, the look and feel of the store and the new format of our kitchen and bathroom showroom.

The new stores introduce a new look and feel, a new counter model and fantastic looking showrooms for our kitchen and bathroom sales teams. Get yourself down to one of our new stores to see our transformation for yourself!

What three words describe the perfect Wickes employee?
Passionate, can-do spirit, authentic.

Mike • Chief Operating Officer

Starting out as a Retail Management Trainee at Tesco, Mike quickly worked his way through the ranks to head up the South-East and London teams for Tesco Superstores before moving to Australia to work for supermarket chain Coles. After a stint for Tesco Lotus in Thailand, he returned to the UK in 2014, taking up what he describes as his “most exciting challenge to date” – becoming Chief Operating Officer for Wickes, leading a 6,500 strong team serving DIY customers in the UK.

How did you get to where you are now?
I’ve been in retail all of my career - I love the pace and energy of retail and enjoy working closely with a team of colleagues to serve our customers.

How would you describe the culture at Wickes?
Wickes prides itself on being a place which upholds family values. Everyone works together, everyone looks out for each other and everyone is expected to step up and play their part in making us the best in every area. The whole team owns the whole business, together and we make sure that we have a lot of fun doing it!

What makes Wickes a cut above other employers?
The biggest difference for me is that we balance our passion to protect and maintain our values with a real sense of achievement as we continue to see fantastic growth and new opportunities for the future. It sounds simple but this is a big challenge for many growing business and I think we are managing this balance really successfully.

What is the most important thing that keeps staff enthusiastic and engaged with the brand?
Since the opening of our first UK store in 1972, Wickes has developed and changed a great deal, but the concept and spirit of our business remains largely unchanged. This is the reason for our continued success to this day and it will be the reason for our success and achievements in the future.

Tell us something that readers might not know about working for Wickes?
Wickes is a very open and diverse group, with products spanning  DIY, trade & kitchen and bathrooms.
Being part of such a large and successful group means that there are plenty of opportunities to develop, grow and build a career within both Wickes and Travis Perkins Plc.

I think a typical misconception is that Wickes is a builders merchants but we are much more than this! Wickes is one of the UK's favourite home improvement retailers. Having opened its first store in 1972 it now operates from over 200 sites across the UK.

There are currently 10,000+ products in the Wickes range from kitchens and bathrooms to paint and timber, all of which are available to buy in-store, online or by telephone.

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