Skip to Main Content

A Day in the Life: Non-food Trading Manager, Tesco

Laura Smyrell is a non-food trading manager at Tesco.

0700 It's a 24/7 business, so consequently I find myself doing a whole range of different shifts. This morning I'm the duty manager, so I have to be at the store early to get a handover from the night managers. It's been a good night and the last of the fresh food delivery is just being finished off, so I grab a coffee before the day really starts. .

0730 Checking key performance indicators for the previous day. The store has targets and budgets for sales, known loss, unknown loss, stock availability, customer queuing time etc. And each one must be reviewed daily so that action can be taken immediately if any of these areas are underperforming. Sales from yesterday are up on the previous week and we are performing well all round. .

0815 It's the launch of promotion change for Non-Food, which are food and animal products that don't enter the food chain, but some lines have not been delivered. I discuss with one of my managers how to handle the changes that will need to be made, and he organises staff to get them done. There will be a conference call later today, so we start putting feedback together on what is selling well, what looks good and what stock hasn't arrived in time for launch. .

0915 My first chance to check emails. I check every hour or so as important information and updates arrive continuously through the day. There has to be a balance in my job between how much time is spent in offices and how much is spent on the shop floor. Too much time away from the shop floor means that you miss things, so it's just a quick review and then back to checking everything is running smoothly. .

0930 Time for the morning team meeting. It's an opportunity for the store management team to discuss store performance, what issues we are each dealing with and what support is needed. The online department is missing a delivery driver, so I organise support to help with loading vans and picking orders. .

1045 I've finally got the chance for breakfast! Morning duty tends to be one thing after another after another, so the chance to sit down and take stock of what's happened so far is much needed. It's a hectic business to work in, but that's all part of the attraction; you never have the same day twice, something is always happening and you never get the chance to be bored.

1300 Lunch .

1400 Conference call with other Non-Food managers. We discuss the current promotion and the recovery plan for stock left from the last one. The call is a chance to send information back to the commercial team responsible for buying stock, marketing and setting up promotional offers. Commercial are often working a year in advance so the feedback helps them to understand what works well for stores and what we need to do better. .

1500 Rumble -- everyone in the store works together in groups to tidy the shop floor ready for the evening trade. It's a good opportunity to do a bit of socialising with other people in the team, as it's about the only opportunity we have to talk about things outside of work! .

1600 It's the afternoon team meeting. Very similar to the morning meeting, it's a review of what's happened so far today and what needs to be done this evening. It's also my chance to hand over properly to the evening duty manager who will be looking after the store until the night team arrive at 10pm. .

1630 A chance for me to catch up with my team and review what we've done today. The promotion is looking good; we've had to make a few changes from the plan, but I think we've made the right decisions. .

1700 Final check of emails to make sure I haven't missed anything -- and then a quick cup of tea. .

1745 I've handed over to the evening duty manager and I'm confident the store is ready for the night fill. It's not the longest day ever -- but it's not the shortest day either. .