We talk to Imran about life as the manager of our Hull store.
What does your job involve?
As store manager my job is to oversee the complete running of the Hull store, which can involve anything from unloading a stock van, building furniture, liaising with customers, completing paperwork and making cups of tea for my staff!
Integral to my role is providing the best possible service and shopping experience for my customers and to make sure my staff have all the help and support they need to do their job efficiently.
How long have you worked at Barker and Stonehouse?
I started working for Barker and Stonehouse in October 2002, so over 13 years ago. I remember it like it was yesterday, time certainly flies when you’re having fun!
I started out as a sales advisor in the Leeds store where I worked my way up to Assistant Store Manager. I was then asked to oversee the opening of the Hull store where I worked for over a year. I then returned to the Leeds store for a short while and was promoted to store manager for Nottingham. After two years I was given the opportunity to open the Battersea store in London, where I worked for almost a year. In March 2013 I returned back to Hull, so I have almost gone full circle.
What does a typical day look like for you?
After my morning cup of tea and catch up on emails I check around the store, as I am a total perfectionist when it comes to housekeeping!
I’ll then catch up with the staff working that day – especially if they have had a day off and they have any business to discuss, check the previous day’s order and deal with any outstanding business.
From there I’m generally on the shop floor with the team to make sure that customers are attended to.
Once a week we get new furniture delivered so I spend some time arranging and organising stock, both on and off the shop floor. I do like to get stuck in with this as I enjoy the manual labour!
There are always things to do and the days can pass quickly.
What do you love about your job?
There are lots of things; I’ve met some amazing customers through work which is always satisfying. Historically, I’ve really enjoyed being involved in the setup of new stores like Battersea and the refurbishment of other stores including Hull, Leeds and Nottingham.
The main thing that sets this job apart is the people I work with. I love the people in my team, they’re a great bunch and we really are a team.
What’s your favourite piece of furniture in store right now?
Right now it’s probably the Little Tree furniture range. I just love the up-cycling story behind the furniture, all the vibrant colours and the history, which you can see and feel in each piece.
I think if you close your eyes and smell inside the cabinets you could almost smell India!
The Charles Eames leather lounge chair and stool, this for me is a total classic and I would love to own an original one day.
How do you spend your time when you’re not at work?
On my days off I am usually in the gym, it’s my second home! I love keeping fit and challenging my body, I take my fitness very seriously both in the gym and in the kitchen! I eat 5 to 6 times a day (I prepare all my own food as I love cooking) and train 5 days a week. There’s nothing better than feeling super-fit and full of energy.