Store wars

In the first of a series of in-depth reports on the key players in different
industry sectors, we look at what Tesco, Budgens, Asda and Sainsbury’s are doing
to win the battle for customers

At first glance Manchester United and Tesco may not appear to have a great
deal in common. But the country’s premier football club and premier food
retailer share more than you might think. Manchester United, for instance, was
the first club to be worth £1bn, while Tesco became the first supermarket chain
to report pre-tax profits of £1bn in 2000.

United dominates a hugely competitive market, has become a force to be
reckoned with abroad as well as at home and is determined never to let its
rivals have a sniff at the top. The same principle applies to Tesco.

Ever since Tesco clawed its way past Sainsbury’s in 1995 to take pole
position in the UK grocery retail sector, an increasingly fierce battle has
been on for the heart and, critically, the purse, of the British food shopper.
Sainsbury’s, after a number of years of drift and stagnation, has recovered its
sense of purpose under Sir Peter Davis and is showing signs of gaining ground

US giant Wal-Mart’s takeover of Asda in 1999 sent tremors through the
market, giving the chain the financial clout essential for it to make its own
run at the title. The move has led to a revolution in how the sector looks at
its people management and HR.

The battle for supremacy in the supermarket trade is as much about getting
HR right as it is about ensuring you can make money from a 9p tin of baked
beans or from stocking 12 varieties of rice. In a cut-throat industry – where
it is estimated UK shoppers will be spending £119bn by 2006 – HR is playing a
critical role in ensuring supermarkets have the right teams in place.

Richard Hyman, chairman of retail research body Verdict Research, says:
"Until a few years ago, expanding a retail business in the UK was about
opening more stores. But as retailing has become increasingly mature, that has
become a less significant factor."

Stores have had to find ways to expand the market with what they have got,
attracting more shoppers without necessarily being able to add to shopfloor

"One fundamental difference we are seeing is the quality of people
stores employ and the skills they have. People are becoming a much more
important determinant in the business. The people you have, even on the
shopfloor, are becoming much more important," Hyman adds.

Should the economy take a downward route, hitting the disposable income of
shoppers with its inevitable tightening of household budgets, the staff a chain
employs will have as an important a part to play as its ability to cut margins
and lower prices.

The key battle has been in recruiting and retaining the right people, from
shelf stackers and backroom distribution experts up to board level. Yet a
government report on skills published in November last year found extensive
evidence of skills gaps in UK companies, highlighting communication skills,
customer handling and problem-solving as particular problem areas. Gaps in any
of these areas would be very serious for a retailer, so supermarket chains have
to work hard to address them.

Other issues include training and developing staff correctly, whether online
or in the classroom, and continuously challenging employees’ performance. Just
as the best football team ensures it is spotting and bringing on the best
talent for the future, this is a central challenge for an HR team in the retail
sector too.

Tesco HR director Clare Chapman says: "We have 200,000 people in the
UK. What makes the difference is the person they report to. We have a very big
programme of supporting our leaders to be best in the business."

Branding has been a critical part of the success of all the main
supermarkets – from Tesco’s ‘Every Little Helps’, Sainsbury’s ‘Taste the
Difference’ to Asda’s pocket pat. Promoting that brand and instilling the
values associated with it at every level has relied on focused HR input to
ensure there is a common thread to the message that goes out to staff.

In January this year, for instance, mid-way through its three-year change
programme, Sainsbury’s reported sales figures showing it was closing the gap on

Key to its recovery, it said, was a shake-up of its central human resources
function, creating three specialist teams covering organisational change,
resourcing and reward plus a new pool of consultants. The change around
included the appointment of a new HR director, Imelda Walsh, whose priorities
include developing the brand, knowledge management and linking reward to

Tesco, by comparison, launched what it claims is the UK’s biggest retail
careers website last autumn in an effort to help it fill some of its 50,000
vacancies. It has also put emphasis on communication and talent spotting.

Asda, too, famous for calling employees colleagues and holding meetings
standing up, has made a point of looking hard at its people policies. It has
been putting in place innovative flexible working arrangements, such as
childcare leave and shift swapping schemes that allow staff to be absent from
work for specific family or domestic reasons.

And for smaller players such as Budgens, the emphasis has been on instilling
a culture of coaching within the organisation, as well as focusing on making
knowledge much more accessible through a new e-learning system.

Industry audit

The UK food retailing industry is
worth more than £100bn, according to the Institute of Grocery Distribution, and
is dominated by five big players: Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Safeway and
Somerfield. These major multiple retailers control more than half of the market
and their share is increasing all the time.

Among the second-tier multiples, there are a number of strong
regional chains, notably northern-based William Morrison and Waitrose, part of
the John Lewis Partnership, predominantly a southern England chain.

Other key players include the Co-operative Movement, with its
combination of supermarkets, convenience stores and neighbourhood stores and
Marks & Spencer which, until its recent recovery, was arguably being kept
afloat by the performance of its food halls.

There are specialist operators such as frozen food retailer
Iceland along with discount chains such as Kwik Save, Netto and Lidl. The
public’s ever-increasing appetite for convenience foods and ‘top-up’ shopping
has benefited chains such as Budgens, Alldays, Spar and Costcutter while
encouraging the bigger chains to make forays into this lucrative market.

Food retailing is a huge employer, with the top five chains
employing more than 600,000 people in the UK alone, with an average staff
turnover of about 33.4 per cent.

In a relatively mature market and with little scope for organic
growth, particularly with ever-tighter planning constraints, expansion is
normally at the cost of a rival. Competitive edge, in this case attracting and
keeping customers, will often come down to the human face of the chain – its
shopfloor staff – and customer service as much as what is on the shelves.

HR, then, has a key influence in this sector, in training staff
appropriately, instilling company values, retaining and developing skilled
staff and attracting and nurturing the best talent in a highly competitive

Tesco hothouses its home-grown

Tesco, the UK’s largest
private-sector employer, is set to increase its workforce by a further 25 per
cent this year. Training has become such a big issue that the supermarket giant
is developing its own learning academy. Nic Paton reports

With 185,000 staff in the UK and
240,000 worldwide, Tesco is not just the UK’s biggest supermarket chain, it is
also the country’s largest private-sector employer. In the UK alone it operates
692 stores, with an additional 77 in Ireland. There are another 108 in Eastern
Europe, one in France and 35 in the Far East.

Tesco was founded by Jack Cohen in 1919 – a former Royal Flying
Corps pilot who invested £30 to set up a grocery stall in London’s East End.
The Tes comes from the initials of partner TE Stockwell and the co from Cohen’s

The group has expanded organically and through acquisition to
account for 16.2 per cent of the UK food market now. In the year to February
2001, sales were £22.8bn, while pre-tax profits were £1.07bn.

Key to its success has been a focus on a number of HR-led
values, such as ‘using our strengths to deliver unbeatable value for our
customers’, ‘sharing knowledge’, ‘treating people how we like to be treated’
and ‘looking after our people so they can look after our customers’.


Approximately 40,000 staff were recruited last year and a
target of 50,000 has been set for this year – a 25 per cent increase.

Tesco runs two management schemes for graduates, one for those
interested in running stores and the other for people who want to move into
head office roles.

Recruitment methods vary, from media advertising through to
in-store promotions and word-of-mouth. Last year it launched, the UK’s biggest retailing careers website. It gets
about 5,500 hits a day.


Staff turnover runs at about 29.9 per cent a year. A recent
staff survey found one in three had been with the company for more than six
years and one in six for more than 11.

Of the group’s 10 board directors, six are home grown, as are
all four of its regional managing directors, 27 retail directors and all but
one of its 10 store board directors.

Part-time working, career breaks and shift working are all
normal practices. About 67 per cent of its staff in the UK work part-time.

All female staff are entitled to 18 weeks maternity leave from
the start of employment. Those with more than 12 month’s service can take extra
leave. New fathers can take three days paid paternity leave, with part-time
workers getting time off on a pro-rata rate. The supermarket chain also offers
bereavement leave and emergency leave.  

Staff can continue working until 70 or beyond, and one in six
Tesco staff are more than 50 years old.

There are also Save-As-You-Earn and Buy-As-You-Earn
profit-sharing schemes available.

Training and development

Tesco appointed its first director of learning, Kim Birnie, in
January 2000. There are 11 people in the supermarket chain’s group learning
team, 14 retail trainers and 400 store-level trainers. The distribution
business and head office both have seven-strong training teams.

The majority of learning is still delivered in-house by Tesco’s
own trainers at various UK sites. The programme is split into bronze, silver
and gold.

External programmes, mostly for senior managers, are available
through organisations such as Cranfield, Harvard and London Business School.
There are a range of induction programmes for new recruits.

During the past two years, the company has invested £15m in
training and development for its frontline managers.

On average, store workers received 30 minutes of formal
training per person per week last year – 4.5 million hours globally.

Time spent on training and development varies depending on the
nature of the role and seniority. Store managers, for example, are offered five
days training at Manchester Business School.

A basic e-learning system is being piloted in the group’s
stores in South Korea and Tesco is developing an academy that will offer
physical learning centres as well as online learning.

Performance management

Performance management is linked to the company’s bottom line
and values. There is an ongoing performance and development routine
complemented by a bi-annual staff survey.

Staff hold formal weekly meetings, known as Team 5, while Take
5, informal five-minute huddles, are also encouraged. In addition to annual
reviews and personal development plans, staff receive quarterly coaching
sessions and regular development updates.

HR director Clare Chapman says: "We see ourselves as the
Sandhurst of retailing. It is a requirement to have spotted the up-and-coming
talent in the same way it would be expected in a first-class football team. We
are always scouting for talent."

Staff are encouraged to come forward with ideas. "There
was a major shift recently in the way we deliver to our stores and that came
directly from staff. Our big focus this year is on listening. It makes such a
difference when your staff know what is going on.

"We are getting very good at communicating but what we can
do better is listen," says Chapman.

Tesco factfile

Salary More than £200,000

Is the HR director on the board?

No, but Chapman reports directly to chief executive Terry Leahy
and sits on Tesco’s People Matters Group, which meets for two hours every two
weeks to work through people issues affecting the chain

HR department structure

Tesco has five central directors, overseeing learning,
resourcing, communication, reward and people insight. There are also four
operational directors responsible for Tesco stores, international stores,
distribution and head office

Size of HR team

Excluding payroll, 400 in the UK. Including payroll, which has
people working in every store, this increases to many hundreds

Ratio of HR to employees

One to 500 (excluding payroll)

HR starting salary

About £24,000

HR priorities for the year

Strengthening talent spotting, developing leaders,
communication, supporting the focus on service

Minnow beats the bigfish on staff

Local convenience food chain Budgens
believes having a contented and challenged workforce helps the bottom line and
staff retention. Each employee has a personal development plan and staff
turnover is well below the industry average. Nic Paton reports

Budgens may be a minnow in comparison
to the big retail players such as Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda, but it has
nevertheless carved out  an enviable
niche in UK retailing for itself. Founded by John Budgen in Maidenhead in 1872,
it now operates 234 stores, covering 25 counties mostly in southern England, expanding
mostly through organic expansion rather than acquisition.

Unlike the bigger players, Budgens is not a ‘pure’ supermarket
chain, preferring to spread itself firmly into the convenience food sector,
forecourt shopping and through its local format, smaller, neighbourhood stores.

During its 130-year history, it has also remained unswerving in
its commitment to fresh produce and to tailoring each store to meet the needs
of its local community or neighbourhood.

In the year to the end of April 2001, the group reported sales
of £477m and pre-tax profits of £17.2m. It employs 6,100 staff.


With 20 new stores planned this year, each employing 10 to 15
people, Budgens needs to potentially recruit about 300 extra staff  this financial year.

It aims to recruit about 50 graduates a year for the next three
years. Budgens is committed to promoting internally and, while more than 100
people will be moving into managerial roles, only 10 are likely to come from
outside the company, says senior HR adviser Paul Daynes. This has been an
ongoing process for the past five or six years.

The graduate management scheme fast tracks recruits, so often
there is as little as 12 to 14 months between someone joining the scheme and
being in charge of a store.

More than half the graduates are now applying online and, while
Budgens does advertise conventionally, a lot of recruitment comes from
word-of-mouth because it is so community based.


Approximately 1,775 people left Budgens last year, giving a
staff turnover level of about 29.4 per cent – nearly 5 per cent below the
industry average. And among managers, turnover dropped even further last year
to 10 per cent.

The company offers the usual benefits of pension and holidays,
plus a share-save scheme and the option of flexible working. There is an equal
opportunities policy and a large proportion of the workforce are women and from
ethnic minorities.

There are also many part-time workers and staff have the
opportunity to earn overtime. Maternity pay and leave are set at the statutory
rates, although there are enhanced terms for managers.

Training and development

The training and development team consists of about 10 people.
For the first six months new recruits undergo intensive training, with at least
some element of training every day. Graduates on the management training scheme
tend to follow a year-long programme, while training for in-store workers will
be structured towards achieving competencies in various areas.

In April last year, the group expanded its management trainee
scheme to meet its 20 new stores’ target. Candidates undertake placements in
two stores, with one day a month spent on skills development.

Training is delivered through a combination of conventional,
classroom-based learning, distance learning, coaching and workshops. This
summer, Budgens is to introduce an e-learning system across the business,
linking its checkouts and store systems with continuing training and

It is impossible to gauge what the company spends on training,
says Daynes, simply because all managers are expected to coach their staff on
an ongoing basis. "It occupies a huge part of their time," he says,
adding that he estimates that "thousands of pounds" are spent on
training each employee during the course of their career.

"Every single person in the business will do some formal
training each year, even the managers who have been with us for 25 years,"
he says.

Performance management

The company’s ethos is very much that having a contented and
challenged workforce helps the bottom line, says Daynes.

"If you have a workforce that is happy then you are likely
to have customers who are happy," he adds.

Performance management is focused on encouraging staff to look
at the opportunities available to them, to look at where they can move in the
business and how they can develop. Even the chief executive Martin Hyson
recently went on a three-day training course.

Each employee – including all part-time workers – has a
personal development review, which is development-related rather than
performance-related, says Daynes. Most staff will be working to a two- to
three-year or a five-year development plan, he adds.

Martin Hyson holds six management conferences a year and each
store manager will be invited to a conference twice a year.

There are constant team briefings, product and team talks.
There is also an employee newspaper.

"We are expending a lot of time and effort in encouraging
a creative and open culture," says Daynes.

There is also a voluntary 360-degree appraisal system in place.

Staff are encouraged to communicate – via e-mail – with Hyson
and other executives with ideas, and he receives about six a week.

BudgenS factfile

Salary: Less than £200,000

Is the HR director on the board?

Hare sits on the Budgens Stores board, but not as HR director
of the plc. However, he is also company secretary, which is a plc board-level

Size of HR team

The central HR team consists of 12 people, complemented by
various client groups working with management teams within the stores and
across the organisation

HR department structure

The HR function is based on a consultancy model, with HR
professionals sitting within the business at all levels, working with
management teams, particularly on areas such as employee relations and training
and development. There are also operations people who work on HR-related
activities at store level but who are not part of the HR department

HR starting salary

About £20,000

HR priorities for the year

To tap into the investment in technology being put into stores
to develop staff and training opportunities, to keep on generating ideas, to
keep challenging employees to do their best and be the best

Stores of learning

Asda/Wal-Mart boasts widespread
flexible working practices, has invested £3m in Stores of Learning and runs the
Asda Academy to teach staff traditional skills. It also holds monthly colleague
circles and staff surveys to canvass grassroot opinion. Ross Wigham reports

Asda, or Associated Dairies, was
formed in 1965 by a group of Yorkshire farmers but has evolved into one of the
major players in the UK grocery sector. Since then it has developed into a
245-store chain with 19 distribution centres and a network of more than 2,800

The supermarket, bought by Wal-Mart, the world’s biggest
retailer, in the summer of 1999, employs more than 109,000 staff. Since the
acquisition, the chain has expanded its offering to include a mix of  fresh food, clothing, and home, leisure and
entertainment products.

The first Asda/Wal-Mart supercentre opened in 2000 in Bristol
offering customers both stores’ product ranges. It sells itself on being
‘stores of the community’ and has introduced several local-based community

Its three core HR business values are: ‘we are all colleagues';
‘one team'; and ‘service with personality’.


Last year, Asda recruited 16,000 extra staff through a mix of
expansion and new store openings with 77 store renewals and 62 new store
openings over the past five years. This year, the company predicts it will
create another 10,000 positions through an additional 10 to 12 stores and
expansion of its distribution network.

Asda uses a mix of traditional and innovative recruitment
methods, even converting customers into staff. People director David Smith says:
"We use things like shelf-label advertising as customers are a valuable
recruitment pool." That method accounted for about 40 per cent of total
recruitment last year and the company even advertised in the actors’ bible The
Stage when looking to hire employees who have to perform on the shopfloor.


Asda employees receive free shares and more than 84,000 hold
Wal-Mart shares through the Colleague Share Ownership Plan or Sharesave.

Flexible working is widespread and 74,000 staff work on a
part-time basis. It introduced its first store manager job share in 1999 and
runs shift swapping, childcare leave, a school starter scheme and a three-month
unpaid leave programme. All male staff are entitled to paternity leave and all
staff are entitled to two days unpaid leave to attend religious festivals. Asda
is part of the Work Life Balance Alliance and 245 stores provide local
childcare information in partnership with national charity Kids Club Network.

Seven per cent of Asda stores are run by female managers and
the company aims to increase this proportion to 30 per cent by 2003.

Training and development

Asda invested £3m in eight Stores of Learning, which have
trained nearly 2,000 new managers and every store has at least one SOL graduate
in the management team. The scheme, which was awarded the Personnel Today award
for Excellence in Training in 2000, has 70 per cent of attendees receiving
internal promotion or development.

The Asda Academy teaches staff crafts or skills for use
in-store. Staff can learn traditional vocations and has trained 550 butchers,
550 bakers, 500 greengrocers, 300 vintners, 40 fishmongers and 40 florists. The
academy programmes are accredited by an external awarding body and relevant
trade associations.

The official induction programme lasts one day and staff are
fully trained after 12 weeks. The majority of further learning is done by
in-house training staff and conducted on site.

Performance management

The HR strategy is linked to the business values of the company
and is monitored by the ‘we’re listening survey’, which measures staff opinion
on a monthly basis. Colleague circles meet each month at every store and a
representative from these circles gets to question the board at an annual,
national meeting.

The company has received more than 50,000 letters and comments
from staff through its suggestion scheme. The annual appraisal system is linked
to the business values and a competency framework that has been running for
three years.

ASDA factfile

Salary Not supplied

Is the HR director on the board

David Smith has a seat on the board along with all other
directors, reporting to chief operating officer Tony DeNunzio.

Size of HR team

Asda has an HR team of 100 colleagues

HR team structure

All the people heads across the business report to David Smith
with the following structure: remuneration and benefits, people development,
retail people, Asda House headquarter staff, colleague relations, people development
and resourcing.

Ratio of HR to employees

The ratio of HR to staff is one to 100 at Asda House, the
group’s headquarters in Leeds. In the field across the UK it’s 250 HR to
110,000 colleagues

HR starting salary

Not supplied

HR priorities for the year

Recruit, train, motivate and retrain Asda staff. The main
priority is to make Asda ‘the best place to work’.

Food for thought

To win back market share, supermarket
chain Sainsbury’s is planning an overhaul of HR practices and systems designed
to exploit the employer brand. Noel O’Reilly reports

was founded in 1869 by John James and Mary Ann Sainsbury when the first branch
was opened in London’s Drury Lane. Over the following quarter of a century
branches opened all over London and contemporary advertisements reveal that the
company’s brand values were surprisingly similar to those of today’s company.

An advert for its Croydon store in 1894 proudly describes
Sainsbury’s "exceedingly handsome and well appointed stores" and
informs customers that: "Mr Sainsbury deals with the producer, both at
home and abroad, and this saves the middle man’s profit."

Today’s Sainsbury’s, with its 142,000 staff and 453 stores, is
one year down a three-year transformation programme which began with the
arrival of Sir Peter Davis as chief executive in March 2000. Davis is leading a
root and branch reform of the store aimed at closing the gap on Tesco which
overtook Sainsbury’s as market leader in 1995.

The tide may be turning: strong Christmas sales allowed the
company to announce a 6 per cent growth in sales in January for the third
quarter of this financial year. A month later it announced it would be
recruiting 10,000 new staff in 2002.

Davis has engineer-ed a step change at the supermarket. The
plan to overhaul the supply chain was cut down to three years compared to the
original seven, for example. The company is currently refurbishing all its

Staff will be at the heart of the supermarket’s revival, but
the HR team is still thrashing out precisely what recruitment, reward,
performance management and development programmes are going to boost the
numbers of customers going through Sainsbury’s checkouts. One thing which is
clear is that HR initiatives will be based on the company’s employer brand
which emphasise quality and service more than price.

Imelda Walsh, recruited as HR director in October last year,
describes how this will work: "Having a clear sense of our employment
brand gives us the template through which you can view every aspect of HR and
the way you treat people, behavioural frameworks – it absolutely must be based
on the company’s brand. You won’t be able to get a bit of paper between those
two things."

In December all 2,700 corporate staff moved into a gleaming,
Norman Foster-designed head office in Holborn. This is where the corporate HR
team sit, and itis currently emerging from a period of soul-searching and

Following the arrival of Davis, Alison Davies, who now heads
the organisational change team, led the HR restructure. A consultation with
staff showed that people felt the HR function should be more customer focused,
proactive, flexible and able to respond quickly to change.

There are plans to extend the small shared services function
and introduce transactional e-HR which will move much HR activity out of the
stores. Every HR job at corporate level has been redesigned and a small number
of positions have disappeared.

The company’s employee commitment index went up 10 points after
the restructure. Now all the HR team have to do is deliver the goods.


In February the company announced it would be recruiting an
extra 10,000 staff at all levels in 2002. Last year the company recruited about
60,000 to permanent positions and expects to recruit the same number this year.

Sainsbury’s recruited 150 graduates last year and also plans
the same intake this year.

The main recruitment tools used are online recruitment and
in-store promotions depending on the role. For a retail position it uses
in-store promotion and the local press. Ninety-nine per cent of graduate
recruitment is done online. For management vacancies, advertising and
recruitment consultants are employed.


The staff turnover rate per year at Sainsbury’s is 35 per cent
and bringing this down is a key priority for HR in 2002.

The company offers a huge number of staff benefits including a
free share scheme, company pension, two weeks’ paid paternity leave, interest
free loans, flexible contracts, fostering and adoption leave and paid time off
for fertility treatment.

It offers 22 days’ holiday rising to 25 after five years’
service and 27 days for middle management and above.

Among the flexible working schemes on offer are flexible hours
contracts, dual store contracts, variable hours contracts, temporary vacation
contracts and alternative working arrangements contracts.

Sainsbury’s is committed to equality and diversity as part of
its customer service work, for business benefit and as an effective tool in
attracting and retaining ‘talented people’.

Staff with more than one year of service are entitled to 40
weeks maternity leave, with 14 weeks paid at 90 per cent and four weeks at the
flat rate. Staff with less than one year’s service are entitled to 18 weeks
leave, with six weeks at 90 per cent and 12 weeks at the flat rate.

The company is currently trialling creches in three stores.

Training and development

There are 80 in the training team at the central business
centre and 600 in stores. Training is delivered to staff online  at the learning@sainsburys site.

New recruits receive on average a minimum of four days
training. The company spent about £30m last year on training. Investment in HR
systems will be considerable over the next few years with the replacement of
the entire existing systems.

Performance management

The company uses an annual appraisal system for all colleagues
and twice-annual reviews for managers.

The company values are encapsulated in the customer promise to
be ‘easy, enjoyable, inspiring’, and these are communicated through everything
from training literature to the website. Other employment brand values are
currently under review.

Succession planning is managed throughout the organisation and
cross functional moves are encouraged.

The company uses development centres and defined career
development routes and the director of talent is currently working on improving
talent management.

It remains to be seen whether Sainsbury’s can improve standards
of service in its stores without a purge of under-performing store managers –
the company firmly rebutted a recent press story suggesting that 1,000 managers
faced the axe. Managers’ performance is currently being reviewed under the
Delivering Great Service initiative.

Sainsbury’s factfile

Name of HR director: Imelda
Walsh was appointed HR director in October to lead the HR function, and to
improve succession planning within the HR function. Walsh’s appointment
reflects the fact that board-level HR director John Adshead’s portfolio has
become too wide to effectively lead the HR function. Adshead is responsible for
HR, overseeing business transformation and IT

Size of HRteam

At the business centre in Holborn there are 200 staff. The
total, including the supply chain and retail is 1,200

HR department structure

HR is structured with three small specialist teams at the
central business centre covering business development, talent and reward. HR
directors work alongside managing directors in the business. A pool of HR
consultants implement projects for the specialist teams. Beyond the business
centre the stores are split into 18 regions of about 26 stores each. Each
region has an HR partner along with an assistant, while each store has a
personnel and training manager along with a team, the size of which depends
upon headcount

Ratio of HR to employees

About 1:104.

HR starting salary range £10,000 –
this is the entry-level basic salary for an assistant personnel training
manager based in store

HR priorities for the year

The employment brand, performance management, leadership
capability, change management, improving staff retention.

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