Foodstuffs North Island (NI) has been recognised as the large Retail Employer of the Year by Retailworld NZ. The co-operative employs 22,000 people across the North Island in its support office, distribution centres and transport network, and in stores under the New World, PAK’nSAVE, Four Square, Gilmours, and Liquorland brands.
This is Foodstuffs’ first time winning the award, which is determined by votes from team members and the general public.
CEO Chris Quin says that winning this award is a proud moment, and helps change the perception of a career in retail. “We are looking forward to using this win to help promote retail as an exciting career path.”
Foodstuffs NI – or ‘Foodies’ as they’re fondly known by the team – has a long history as one of New Zealand’s biggest employers, starting back in 1922. The business is 100% New Zealand owned and operated, and puts a special focus on the development of their people.
“We have a strong owners’ mindset in our co-operative that goes far beyond the actual owners of each store,” says Quin. “All our people are empowered to take ownership of their careers, and we see this as one of our greatest strengths. Foodstuffs is a place where anyone really can achieve anything they set their mind to, and we have so many stories of trolley collectors and produce stackers turned supermarket owners to prove it.”
The company holds a Graduation ceremony each year to celebrate team members who have completed qualifications – from leadership development courses to bakery and butchery apprenticeships. This year nearly 150 team members walked the graduation stage. Foodstuffs’ trade qualifications are NZQA approved and operate under an “earn as you learn” framework, where future bakers and butchers hold roles in supermarkets as they complete their certificates.
“These are real skills that add value to the future of New Zealanders’ lives and they’re the kind of amazing retail careers we see flourish every day at Foodies,” says Quin.