My life in the grocery trade

Richard Gittus, relationship manager at Groceryaid

BRIEFLY OUTLINE YOUR EMPLOYMENT HISTORY TO DATE

My career started in 2004 when I joined Virgin Megastore, eventually progressing to store manager. I first entered the grocery trade in 2009 with Unilever as a national account manager and, following a couple of promotions, led a team of national account managers in the Impulse and OOH channel. In 2014 I moved to United Biscuits and, for two years, operated in the symbols/convenience channel. Between 2015 and 2018, I stepped out of grocery and worked as sales controller for Ideal Standard, before joining GroceryAid.

 

WHAT DOES YOUR ROLE INVOLVE?

I hold the commercial contact between the charity and the majority of our supporting businesses. It’s my job to increase support across fundraising, awareness and volunteering and I do this by building strong relationships and identifying commercially viable opportunities for individuals and businesses to get involved in, particularly through our excellent calendar of events.

 

WHEN DID YOU TAKE UP THIS POST?

I joined in October 2018.

 

WHAT ARE THE BEST/WORST PARTS OF YOUR JOB?

The best, and most humbling aspect, is seeing the impact we have on the lives of our beneficiaries and hearing the stories of how we have helped grocery colleagues in their time of need. The most frustrating part of my job is spending time in front of my laptop in order to keep on top of the admin as I’d much rather be out seeing businesses, generating more income and greater levels of support.

 

BRIEFLY OUTLINE A TYPICAL DAY

If it’s not a Monday, when I am typically at our office in Sandhurst for internal meetings, I’m usually on the road or train travelling to meetings. I try and schedule at least two meetings wherever I am travelling to, in order to gain efficiency from the travel time. Meetings usually consist of me talking through the charity credentials if it’s a new supporter, or giving an update on our KPIs and then discussing ways to support across the fundraising, awareness and volunteering arms of the charity.

 

WHAT HAS BEEN THE PROUDEST MOMENT OF YOUR CAREER TO DATE?

Leading and developing a team of national account managers to the point where they have gone on to further develop their careers in the grocery sector. I’m still in touch with them now and it’s great to see how the experience we shared as a team has helped shape their careers.

 

BEST THING ABOUT BEING INVOLVED WITH THE INDUSTRY?

There’s a real community feel and great pride taken in the stores I have had the pleasure of visiting in Northern Ireland. Local retailers continue to play an integral part in each community.

 

WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO TO UNWIND AWAY FROM WORK?

I love cooking and prepare most meals from scratch, which I find relaxing. Family is also important to me; I’m about to become a dad again for the second time so I’m hoping to get enough time to cook. I’m also a big football fan and enjoying playing five a side and watching my beloved Aston Villa.

 

TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT YOURSELF THAT NOT MANY PEOPLE MAY KNOW

I once met Prince Phillip and accidentally called him Phil, luckily he didn’t seem to mind!

 

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