Married dad of two bounces back with top job at Phones 4u in Wrexham

A married dad-of-two from Rhyl bounced back after the heartbreak of redundancy by netting the top job at a mobile phone store.

Andy Robertson, the newly appointed manager of the Phones 4u store at Eagles Meadow shopping centre, Wrexham, was devastated when he lost his job after photo retail giant, Jessops, went into administration.

He said: “It was very tough. It was just after Christmas so it was a bit of a shock.

“It was a real worry having kids and bills to pay. The effect it had on the family household budget was devastating.

Andy, 42, lives in Rhyl with his wife of 20 years Joanne, and their twin sons Steven and Daniel, 16. He started out as a Saturday worker at Iceland aged 16, and through grit and determination he has steadily worked his way up the retail ladder, becoming a manager within seven years.

He said: “There isn’t one job in the store I won’t do. If the staff do it, I’ll do it. For example if something needs to be cleaned I’ll do it. We all get involved. We all know what our roles are, and we all know how well we’re doing.

Andy believes in creating the right atmosphere at the store, and is dead set against high pressure sales tactics.

“I like a good place to work because if it’s a good place to work then it’s a good place to shop because the customers pick up on that sort of atmosphere. You want to come in and you want to feel comfortable. For a customer to sign a contract for two years they have to know that everything is right.

“If the staff are happy then it transfers on to the customers. We all know what we need to do.

“We get very good feedback from our customers. They talk about it being unrushed, and unpressured.

“We’re not going for the hard sell at all – quite the opposite. It’s counterproductive to go for the hard sell.

“It’s a big thing that people are signing for that can involve thousands of pounds. So it’s got to be right. It’s not a decision that people should rush into.

“We’ll sit down with the customer and we’ll get to know them. We work out their hobbies, their interests, what they do, how they use the phone, what they use the phone for, what they currently spend.

“Then we try and pick from that a couple of packages that would suite them. Sometimes by spending a pound more on your contract, it could save you £20 per month on your additional costs.”

Andy is also a great believer in staff training and product knowledge.

He said: “We do a lot of training. Product knowledge is essential because the technology is changing so quickly.

“It’s about keeping an open mind and realising that you’re always learning. You can’t presume that you know everything, not with technology. Because what’s current today is not current tomorrow, and I’ve learned a lot in the nine months that I’ve been with the company, and I must admit I’ve enjoyed every day.”

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