John Torbitt is manager of the new Tesco Bow Street Lisburn Express store. John has worked in the grocery retail trade since 1991, starting out in the produce department of the former Stewarts Supermarket. Following Tesco’s purchase of Stewarts in 1997, he was appointed as Fresh Food Manager at Tesco’s Lisburn Road store.
His first managerial role followed completion of a two-year Tesco Options training programme and John has since enjoyed two Head Office secondments for specialised projects and a two-year role as Grocery Trading Manager at Tesco, Bentrim Road.
In 2012 he became Store Manager of Tesco Express Mayfield, Mallusk and in March this year was appointed to the new Bow Street Express.
Said John, “With the new store now open, seven days a week from 7am to 9pm, I get up at 5am – with a quick banana for sustenance – and arrive at the store at around 6am. Before opening, and throughout the day, I ‘walk the shop’ with my deputy manager to ensure that the store is clean and tidy and to check stock availability.
“These are critical parts of our day, helping us ensure customers have a well presented store with available and accessible stock.
“I also run through the figures for the previous day and have a five-minute briefing with the management team to ensure everyone is fully informed and involved in the day-to-day running of the store. Communication to the entire team is vital throughout the day, as each and every one plays their part in ensuring customers receive the best shopping experience.
“As well as the continual replenishment of stock, in the afternoon I spend some time planning the team rota and looking at the performance of the store across various areas.
“The most enjoyable part of my day is spent on the shop-floor, talking to our customers. Our aim is to become part of the local community in Lisburn and I think it’s important for me and my team to be accessible to customers and available to hear their feedback on the new store.
“I normally finish at 5pm in the knowledge that the store is in good hands until closing at 9pm.
“It is a privilege to be part of the team at the first Tesco Express store in Lisburn. As well as seeing my team develop and progress and deliver a first-class service, I enjoy building relationships with the community. Knowing our customers by name and listening to their feedback, talking to local schools, businesses and charities, are important to us as a team and in making our new store part of the local fabric of a great city.”