Mike Flannery knew that becoming Manager of one of the UK’s most successful WHSmith stores would be a challenge, but didn’t force how he would end up rubbing shoulders with his sporting idols and how, ultimately, it would springboard his career in a new direction.
“After working for quite a number of years in WHSmith stores across the country, I was pleased to be offered the job of managing the intu Trafford Centre branch, as with it came the kudos of overseeing a flagship store. In July 2003, the store was one of four top performing stores across the country and we were always vying for the top spot.
“By 2007 I was ready for a new challenge and the role of Retail Liaison Manager for intu Trafford Centre came up. I already knew the Centre Director, Gordon McKinnon from the retail forums I attended. I approached him, asked about the role, applied and got the job. I was delighted.
“It was a real shock at first, as it was a very different experience to managing a team of 200 and taking sole responsibility for running a very busy store, as I was now really working on my own. However, I gradually built a rapport and relationship with the retailers – which I found incredibly rewarding as it’s not an easy thing to do. I also applied my management skills and knowledge built up through 30 years of experience at WHSmith, and I haven’t looked back. Last year, I was promoted to Guest Services Manager and am now responsible for managing and overseeing the new Retail Liaison Manager, environmental services, security and customer service. My new role with intu is constantly evolving and it’s a really exciting time professionally for me.”
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