Staying Power: David's remarkable career with M&S

Meet Customer Assistant, David Grieve. Despite retiring from his Store Management role in 2016, David is always drawn back to the world of retail with us. Learn more about his remarkable retail career.

My story is not just about a career; it's a testament to my passion for the retail industry and my loyalty to M&S. Starting my journey in 1970 with Safeway supermarkets, I progressed through the retail ranks up to management positions. However, my career path was far from linear and I was given opportunities with a variety of retailer including Harrods and Iceland.

In the year 2000, M&S were offering a unique opportunity - a chance to be a part of a transformative project. The business was looking for experienced managers to help reshape their management style towards a dynamic and customer-focused strategy. The intensive 16-week training course challenged me, but I got stuck in advocating for change within the business based on my varied experience.

Over the years, I was offered some brilliant opportunities at M&S including becoming the Store Manager in Deal, Dover, and Ashford stores. This allowed me to put the embedded management style into practice and built and coach some great teams. However, in 2016, a sudden health scare halted my journey momentarily. I became unwell while working in the Canterbury store which meant that I couldn’t work for a number of weeks. Amidst the uncertainty, M&S stood by me and offered ongoing support and access to wellbeing resources.

Once I had recovered, I made the difficult decision to step down from my role as Store Manager. Again, the compassion and family feel of the business shone through as I was offered a position closer to home. Despite officially retiring in 2019, my ties and loyalty to M&S remained unbroken.

In 2020, the call of retail beckoned me once more as I returned to my local M&S to lend a helping hand during the busy Christmas season. Not only did I return for Christmas in 2020 but I loved it so much that I returned for the festive season in 2021 and 2022! There’s nothing like the buzz of a shopfloor during Christmas! M&S, again, recognised my contribution and offered me a permanent role as a Customer Assistant – I was thrilled. I feel like I’m back where I belong - spending my mornings filling fruit and veg. I wouldn’t have it any other way!

For me, retail isn't just a job; it's a way of life. Serving customers every day brings me so much joy that my roles at M&S have never felt like work. M&S’s values prioritise colleagues and customers, quality, innovation and customer service above all else. And it’s those values that have kept me coming back to the business time and times again.

M&S is a great family business who have always been loyal to me. Although I’m approaching my 70th birthday, I hope that I will be a loyal part of the family in return for many years to come.

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