From Finance Graduate to Trading Director. Our High Street Trading Director for Books, News and Confectionery, Alastair Aldous spoke to Rethink Retail to share his journey at WHSmith.
Al has been at WHSmith for 15 years, starting as a Finance Graduate and rising through the business to now being responsible for Books, News and Confectionery trading. click the link below to see the full interview and see how Al’s career has grown with him during his time at WHSmith and how he has taken each opportunity to try something new.
Al’s story is one of many in the business, so if you’re looking for a career that will challenge, drive and deliver for you; then we want to hear from you!
Full interview – https://lnkd.in/eN7ZD33
This week see’s the end of Kate and Mikaila’s placement year here at our Head Office in Swindon, Wiltshire. Kate in IT and Mikaila in HR have been an asset to our teams and we would like to wish them every success with their return to uni. Thank you for all your hard work and we are pleased to hear that you have learnt a huge amount whilst with WHSmith. Good luck with your final year!!!
“I’m delighted to have joined WHSmith, whose stores I remember spending a lot of time in when I was growing up. I’ve joined the business as International Finance Director and am excited to be joining a fast growing business which continues to innovate in the year that it celebrates its 225th year anniversary as the world’s oldest retail chain.
I have substantial and varied experience of working at other retailers – John Lewis, Tesco and Sainsbury’s – as well as a professional services background in consulting at Accenture and at PricewaterhouseCoopers.
I live in Ealing in West London with my two sons who are aged 9 and 6. I was born in India and lived in Tanzania, before my family came to the UK when I was 5 years old. I seem to spend a lot of my spare time on my children’s interests – Chelsea FC, Justin Bieber, rugby and Harry Potter – but the grown up in me enjoys travelling, reading, cooking, visiting galleries and seeing friends.”
“I’m half French and half Welsh (an unusual combination!). My mum, who is French, says she is disappointed with how English I have turned out.
I’m married with 2 kids – Ella (9) and Toby (5) who keep me on my toes. My favourite thing is watching Toby’s football matches and Ella’s tennis matches, they make me proud!
I started my career on the selling side of things on the sales and marketing graduate scheme at Nestle. My first year was spent selling chocolates out of the boot of my car to small independent shops which was good fun and taught me a lot. After 5 years at Nestle I then moved onto the buying side of things and I have spent 6 years at ASDA doing various buying roles and latterly 8 years at Wilko as Trading Director. I like to focus on building ranges that customers love, delivering results, ensuring good processes and structures are in place, keeping it simple and having fun.
I’ve really enjoyed my time here so far. I particularly like the people and the culture and the way we pull together to get things done at pace. I’m especially impressed with our financial rigour which is the strongest I’ve ever experienced by a distance. I also want to make sure, in my team, that we talk about the customer more and spend more time in Retail.”