How I came to manage a 16 store region
Building a successful retail career on both sides of the world with two big supermarket brands was never something that Jackie Dalrymple planned. But one career path led to the other and she now has a unique global perspective and enviable CV.
'I was a bright-eyed 15 year old when I joined Tesco in the UK' said Jackie, 'and I stayed until I was nearly 40! But when the opportunity with Coles came up and I saw how they were trying to run things, it really matched my values. It was a great chance to have a say in something I believed in.'
Variety and challenge
Fast forward 5 years and Jackie is now Regional Manager for 16 stores around Melbourne CBD. Her day is a busy one involving everything from new store projections, working on the shop floor and developing the next generation of Coles leaders.
'What I love most about retail is the variety and that whatever your background, anyone can succeed. Being a mentor also allows me to coach and learn something fresh from people every day. That's invaluable.'
Looking back, Jackie relishes how Coles has enabled her to challenge herself but in a safe environment. 'The leadership team here look for people who bring a different viewpoint and dynamic to the business. We work together to come up with solutions.'
A place for everyone
When it comes to misconceptions about retail, Jackie feels women especially shouldn't dismiss it as a career path.
'It's not as physical or male dominated as you think, and by being more often than not, the family shopper, women have a real insight on what customers are looking for. The business does move fast but that creates its own opportunities - I get more flexibility here than I ever have in previous jobs.'
'It may sound a cliché, but you make a real difference to people's lives working in food retail. At the other end of the scale, if you're commercially-minded and can see yourself running a multi-million dollar business, this is the place to do it.'
Back to top