• Dene manages the furniture (dining, bedrooms - home furnishings) and brown goods (e.g. TVs and audio) categories. He has a broad range of categories to manage and a broad range of suppliers.
• Based in the Watford Head Office, Dene travels a lot with his job.
• The ‘cradle to grave’ principle that he and the business work with means he’s involved regularly or occasionally with:
• Product specification and design on own brand product development
• Supplier negotiations
• Product marketing
• Product delivery (right down to the box design)
• Product spares and servicing issues
• Every day is as demanding as the one before.
• Dene spends around three days a month in store and he regularly buddies up with Regional Managers to get a temperature check on the business.
• Dene takes suppliers to stores for a review.
• He also goes on customer visits.
• Dene helps to organise and run customer focus groups in store to understand where their heads are at with regard to potential new product offerings.
Dene had a great career at a furniture chain, where he was successful at turning stores around. It was business as usual, until one day, Leo our CEO walked into the High Wycombe outlet and began an extraordinary recruitment process…
“I was a store manager. I’d reached a point where I wanted to go back into buying but there was no way of getting to that without getting a board position, and a long way from achieving that. I’d never heard of BrightHouse until Leo came into a store which I was turning around.
What happened was that Leo conducted an interview while shopping with me – typical Leo. I sorted a whole load of furniture for him for a new property he was buying. Then I was going on holiday. Leo said he’d want to meet me at Banbury at 7.15am on the Friday, the first day of my holiday. He asked me to come and look at his retail store - wanted my opinion! He has such an effect on people, he’s so passionate it’s catching! So we ended up visiting about five stores. I told him what I thought and by the end of the day he’d offered me a job.
I buy into what Leo stands for in the business – passion, empowerment, customer and results focus and integrity. I’ve gone from a store manager to winning the 2010 UK Rising Star Award across the whole Retail industry.”