We’re delighted that Mark Walker, from Specsavers, has recently become the Chair of the Broadmead BID. Below Mark provides some interesting information about his background and expresses his interest in working with Broadmead BID businesses………..
“Having recently volunteered as Retail Chair of the Broadmead BID I thought it would be an appropriate time to give you an overview of my history within the retail industry.
Many many years ago in 1983 I joined Tesco in Redditch as a warehouse assistant having given up my career as a semi-professional footballer, which in hindsight was probably not the right thing to do bearing in mind I was the youngest goalkeeper in the Conference. One of my biggest regrets!!
In 1985 I moved to Weston-Super-Mare to open the new Tesco store as Assistant Night Manager. I then stayed around the Bristol area, continuing to work for Tesco in a variety of management roles. I worked at all of the following stores and was involved in the opening of many of them: Eastville, Brislington, Golden Hill, Tesco Metro in Broadmead, Wells, Midsomer Norton, Stroud and Cheltenham.
Having worked up through the ranks I finally became a Regional Supply Chain Support Manager looking after 21 stores in and around Bristol.
After 23 years I decided to move to Specsavers. As it is a Partnership this meant that I owned my store and as there is no PLC to answer to, I can make my own decisions and control my own destiny which is brilliant!
I started at Specsavers in Kings Heath, Birmingham where I learnt the business. Then as commuting to Birmingham from Stonehouse became very draining, I sold up and bought the Bedminster branch of Specsavers. Two years later I sold this store and purchased the Specsavers store which used to be located on Union St in Broadmead. This was one of the company’s flagship stores and the home of Specsavers. So, although my store has moved location, it is the very first one and we have our thirty year anniversary this year.
Whilst working for Specsavers between 2010 and 2012 I was the regional Chairman representing 46 stores to the UK board, and from 2005 to 2012 I took on the role of Chairman of the Youth at Forest Green Rovers FC. In my time here, all voluntary, I grew it from three teams to ten teams, 150 signed players and 33 FA qualified coaches, which is probably one of my proudest achievements, as getting people to give up their time and a great deal of it for no financial gain, just a sense of achievement is very challenging and rewarding.
I am married with four children and I see myself as a very seasoned retailer knowing the industry inside out, and I am looking forward to the challenge of working with the BID team.
I would welcome anyone coming to have a chat with me or indeed I am available at certain times to come and see any of you in your stores, to get hold of me just pop into Specsavers on Merchant Street, which is opposite The Galleries (as I have learnt not many people know where Merchant Street is!).