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Anne Rigney

Director of HR – Talent, Learning & Development, Musgrave

Eileen Biggs

Head of Resourcing, Musgrave

Anne Marie Lynch

Co-Ordinator of 3rd Level Programmes, Musgrave

Working in retail means being part of an essential industry that offers world class development and training opportunities, and a variety of exciting roles and career paths.

Looking for an exciting and diverse career? One that’s challenging but also rewarding? Then look no further than the retail sector insists Anne Rigney, Director of HR – Talent, Learning & Development at Musgrave, the food retail, wholesale and foodservice Group behind the Centra, SuperValu and Donnybrook Fair brands. “There are hardly two days ever the same in the world of retail, never mind two weeks!” she says.

We sometimes forget that retail is the backbone of the economy; although, in the era of COVID, people have come to appreciate just how indispensable the sector is. “Retail is one of the most dynamic industries I know, and during the pandemic the importance of the work we do really came to the fore,” says Rigney.

“Over the last two years, colleagues across our brands ensured everyone had access to food, and went above and beyond to help communities. Working in retail offers an opportunity to be part of a great team that makes a big impact.”

Passionate about sustainability issues

Retail is a critical industry, but it’s also a fascinating one because it constantly finds innovative ways to deal with important emerging trends. “For example, sustainability is an area we’re passionate about,” says Rigney. “Consumers are more interested in buying local, sustainable living, less food waste and better packaging options. We are constantly adapting to meet and exceed shopper expectations.”

But perhaps it’s the sheer variety of the sector that makes it popular as a career choice. Take Centra, SuperValu and Donnybrook Fair, which offers a range of job options from fresh food specialists, to team leaders or store champions. Employees can join stores at junior levels and work their way up to senior store manager positions. “If they have the ambition, they can even own their own store, becoming a business entrepreneur in a local community,” says Rigney. Eileen Biggs, Head of Resourcing at Musgrave adds: “Employees often join from other sectors and we provide them with excellent learning and development, enabling to reach their full potential in the retail industry.”

Consumers are more interested in buying local, sustainable living, less food waste and better packaging options

Anne Rigney

Training and developing employees to be the best

The modern retail sector understands how important it is to train and develop employees. Rigney points out that a range of development programmes are available to employees, from customer service training to Retailer Leadership programmes. Many of these courses are run virtually, so that they are accessible to employees from every part of the country.

Plus, in conjunction with TU Dublin (Technological University Dublin), the Group runs Certificate, Diploma, Ordinary and Honours Degree programmes, to ensure that employees can gain a third level qualification while they are working. “The programmes are built on the very foundation of an apprenticeship type model of ‘earning while learning’,” says Rigney. “Employees can work full-time and attend lectures with TU Dublin on a part-time basis. After four years they receive an Honours Level 8 Degree in Retail Management.” Anne Marie Lynch, Co-Ordinator of 3rd Level Programmes at Musgrave adds: “It’s proving popular, with more than 70 colleagues signing up for Certificate, Diploma and Degree programmes each year.”

Expanding career paths and opportunity

Other certified programmes within the Group include a Butchery Apprenticeship Programme in Cork, Dublin and Galway, run in conjunction with the ACBI (Associated Craft Butchers of Ireland). Similarly, junior managers can undertake the Retail Supervisory Apprenticeship, run in conjunction with Retail Skillsnet.

The Group has successfully piloted its first Bakery Programme where, after six months, employees can qualify as fully certified bakers. “We will continue to expand the breadth and depth of our career paths, accredited programmes and suite of learning and development programmes,” says Rigney. “Who knows, we might even launch our own Musgrave University in the years ahead.”

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