Edinburgh Store Director
25 Oct 2018
I’ve worked for Tesco in various jobs across the business for over 40 years now, and I’ve always been fascinated by the way people shop.
That’s because retail is so often making headlines at the moment, both in the national news and here in Edinburgh. A third of us in Edinburgh believe retail is the industry with the biggest impact in driving economic prosperity in the area, and when you consider it accounts for 10% of jobs in Scotland , you can see why. The way shopping is changing has made me reflect on my own role overseeing supermarkets in and around the city.
For me and my colleagues, Tesco is a place where we work to support our families. We employ more than 1,300 full-time colleagues in Edinburgh in jobs that help them get on, on their own terms.
Take Drew. He joined as a customer assistant over 20 years ago, working alongside finishing his studies at university. Now a store manager, Drew has built his career here with the help of support and training. He has given so much back to the business and our customers through his commitment to serving the public and working to make stores a real focal point for communities.
Our contribution goes a lot further than being an employer though. Earlier this year, KPMG published a report examining Tesco’s contribution in communities across the country. We call it Value in Your Town. The report opened my eyes to the contribution we make to communities across Edinburgh and the UK as a whole.
Take the long-term supplier partnerships we have. We work with more than 45 suppliers in and around Edinburgh, supporting around 2,400 jobs. One you might be familiar with is Macsween, a third-generation family company that has been making haggis since 1953. We aim to be more than a customer to Macsween – we see ourselves as genuine partners, helping to grow demand for products, giving much-needed certainty about their future, and fostering innovation.
Food waste is rightly a subject really close to our hearts at Tesco. Our Community Food Connection programme, delivered in partnership with FareShare, links our stores in Edinburgh to local charities and community groups to ensure that no good food goes to waste. In Edinburgh, we’ve donated enough food to provide 31,000 meals to people who need them.
We’re also making a positive contribution in Edinburgh through our Bags of Help scheme, where the money raised by the sale of carrier bags is being used to fund local projects that have been nominated by Tesco colleagues and customers. Last year we donated over £223,000 to community projects in and around Edinburgh – in fact, maybe you were one of the customers who voted for Cyrenians who used a grant of £12,000 to help support their community garden at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital.
I’m clear that my number one job is still to make it easier for Edinburgh’s families to enjoy good quality, affordable food. But I’m proud to be part of something even bigger than that – from helping local businesses grow, to creating rewarding jobs, to giving back to the local community.
People in Edinburgh have mixed feelings about how the general economic situation in our city will change over the next 12 months – 12% think it will get a little better, 29% think it’ll get a little worse. I don’t have a crystal ball, but I can say that we’ll keep working hard to serve Edinburgh better in the future.
For more information on Tesco’s contribution in your local area, visit tescoplc.com/valueinyourtown