Posted on Wednesday 24 February 2010 by Ulster Business

Gary Mills

Belfast man Gary Mills has been appointed to a top job in retailing and has taken up the post of operations director for Tesco in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

This means that Gary, who until recently was stores director for the Tesco business in Northern Ireland, has now added the Tesco Ireland operation to his portfolio. It makes him responsible for around 160 stores and 22,500 employees North and South. “This is a wonderful opportunity and I am delighted to have taken up this role. It will help dispel the myth that there are no prospects in retailing which is increasingly being regarded as a career with a real future,” Gary said. “If the number of applications we receive for jobs at our stores are anything to go by, more and more people have been inspired to look at the opportunities available in the retail sector. “At Tesco we have very clear, defined career paths and if an employee’s ambition extends beyond Northern Ireland, they can take advantage of the opportunities offered by our stores in GB, ROI, Europe and beyond. This is an excellent way to develop a career and see a bit of the world at the same time.” Tesco is one of the largest private employers in Northern Ireland with more than 9,000 people in their stores, depots and local support office which is nearly double the number of people employed by the Stewart/Crazy Prices Group when they were acquired by Tesco in 1997. Within Tesco there are many instances of people starting on the shop floor who eventually run the shops they work in or move into other jobs within the business, gaining valuable leadership and professional skills along the way. Mr Mills explained “When I began my career as a trainee manager in Stewarts in Bangor I couldn’t have imagined that little more than 20 years later I would be Operations Director for the island of Ireland. “Yet these career progressions are not uncommon as we nurture all the potential we can and offer training schemes where those who have the drive and determination to succeed can fast-track their careers. “Our employees are part of the reasons why Tesco has been so successful in Northern Ireland. In return, we offer a competitive rate of pay, complemented by an excellent benefits package. Tesco can offer flexibility and a range of hours and shifts that are attractive to people who want to fit their work around the needs of their family.”

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