Alexandra Freehan, Store Manager at Coles
A day in the life of…

Store Manager at Coles

Alexandra Feehan graduated with a Bachelor of Science from The University of Melbourne in 2014, and is now a Store Manager at Coles.

5:45 AM

The dreaded sound of my first alarm. 

6:00 AM

After pressing snooze at least three times, I roll over grab my phone and do a quick check of my emails, check yesterday’s results and my calendar for what’s on today. 

7:00 AM

I walk into the shop, do a quick check of the store perimeter and check in with every team member. I note a few quick opportunities and pass them onto my department managers. I check the daily communications and print off my commercial pack to discuss with the team during our morning tours.

Doing quick check into the shop.

7:30 AM

I begin detailed tours in the fresh departments. It’s Monday and the store has pulled up reasonably well after a warm weekend. Today I’m starting in Deli; I want to get in early to discuss how we can better improve our late evening roast chicken availability as the weather gets warmer and our trading patterns change. We tour the department side by side discussing opportunities while also making note of some of the great results that came out of the previous week. This is the most valuable time I spend with each of my department managers each day, coaching them and building their capabilities is the most important part of my job. 

8:40 AM

I’m called for a priority one to the deli; I jump in to help the team serve our customers faster. 

9:00 AM

I start the first of three quality checks for the day. The team have done a good job in their morning quality tour. I find some mangos that are a little too ripe and discuss a plan with my produce manager to replenish more frequently to extend their life. I remove anything that we can’t sell and set aside for collection by SecondBite, an organisation that works with Coles to rescue surplus, fresh, nutritious food for people in need. 

Sorting out products.

9:45 AM

Coffee. 

10:00 AM

I pull the team together for our morning huddle. Today we are recognising the great work of one of our team members with an award for receiving excellent customer feedback. Each department reports on what’s new and going well for their department and we share any ideas that are relevant for the day. 

10:20 AM

First conference call of the day which is about a new ordering system we are trialling. We discuss how effectively it is working and share some improvements that need to be made.  

11:00 AM

Code green. I gather all department managers to check off their waste before collection by SecondBite. SecondBite stops good food from going to waste and provides it to people in need across Australia. I ensure everything has been written off appropriately to ensure we are managing unknown loss within the store.

Code green

12:00 PM

Second quality check of the day.  

12:30 PM

It’s lunchtime. Today we are celebrating and recognising the 10 year anniversary of one of our service team members. We organise a lunch to share with the whole team and a cake to celebrate the wonderful contribution the team members has made to Coles.

1:00 PM

I sit down for my weekly commercial review with my manager over the phone. 

2:00 PM

The familiar tune of ‘Let’s get ready to rumble’ plays over Coles radio reminding me it’s time to tidy the shop. I gather the team and we work from one end of the store to the other, tidying the shelves to make it presentable and easy for customers to shop. This is my favourite part of the day where the team can spend some time together and have a bit of a laugh. 

Tidying the shop

3:30 PM

I have a meeting with one of my part time team members who has expressed interest in becoming a department manager. Building careers is one of the most important roles of a store manager, so I’ve set some time aside with him today to work through his ‘individual development plan’ and discuss his progress in his ‘am I ready’ document. 

4:00 PM

Third quality check of the day.

Quality check

4:30 PM

I do a detailed hand over with my duty manager, we tour the shop and I set my expectations regarding what needs to be done throughout the evening. 

Detailed handover with my duty manager

5:00 PM

I pop into the office to do some emails and spend some time on my sale projections for the next few weeks, which is very important to ensure our rosters, ordering and planning is in place. 

5:30 PM

I do a quick round of the store to say goodbye to every team member and check in one last time with my duty manager. 

6:15 PM

I’m home in time to walk my dogs. I find walking after work a great way to wind down and reflect on the day. 

7:30 PM

I eat a quick dinner and jump into bed to watch some Netflix.

9:30 PM

Time to sleep, ready to do it all again tomorrow.