Deli Assistant
The Co-operative Group (The Co-op)

Deli Assistant
The Co-operative Group (The Co-op)

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Lesley T

00:00:02 I’ve been here 24 years past August. When I first started, well, naturally they were just building this place so we’d had to go and do our training at Longbenton which was about 50 miles down the road and you got all your training there until this store opened 24 years ago.

00:00:20 A typical day would be delivery days is when you have to check off all your stock and but then years ago it used to be like all on paper but now it’s done on computer. So then you do your date checks which is the dates that’s coming off and make sure there’s nothing been left on because then it’s, you know, breaking the rules and then it’s just like filling it all up and keeping it all face and things for the public coming in.

00:00:43 You have your regulars that they come in and they say, “Could you help me with this?” and then you end up doing the whole shop for them at the end of the day then you’re down to the checkouts and you’re checking out and packing their bags for them and then you’re back the next week and you see them again and it’s the same routine. It’s the older ones that’s been coming for years, you know, which is maybe is somebody that you’ve been serving for 24 years, you know, and they just come in and you get the daily chit chat and what they’ve been up to and where they’re going and things like that. You know, its’ really satisfying.

00:01:13 I worked in with William [Lowes] and the section head of William [Lowes], I worked with her there so when she left there she asked me to come with her here. You know, so it was, I’d have to say I think it was quite a good move because at the time, well, just no further down the line William [Lowes] closed, you know, so at the time it was quite a good move.

00:01:36 There’s still quite a few of the same lot that’s still here and we had to go by minibus. So, we used to get a, it used to make your day. It was hard going to a new job and travelling away but I think it made it a lot easier when you got onto a bus with a lot of people and you could have a laugh because I think that carried you on and kept you going through the day.

00:01:59 There’s still quite a few here and we do get together and there’s, like, social parties and things like that but, I mean, I have my friends outside, is what I have more than anything because, like I say, you have them nine till five in here. The last thing you want to do is have them from five till 10 at night, you know what I mean? So, and I have my family, you see, so, really, I’d have to say, but yes, I’ve got some good friends in here and when we are out we have a good laugh and a good time.

00:02:27 My school days, well, I think everybody has their good school days. I didn’t like school, I’ll be quite honest. Couldn’t wait to leave but I mean I didn’t go to school here and I went to school in Wales. So, I was amongst the Welsh which I couldn’t speak so I think that maybe held you back a bit going to, like, a strange school because, you know, we moved from place to place because my Dad was like a farmer, you know, so, really my school days was dotted all over the place. You know, I wasn’t, like, in one place for that long.

00:02:57 I did go for, like, a supervisor’s job but at the time, I mean, my kids was little, you know, so, I’d have to say that held me back. But if I had the chance then, sort of now I should say, that was going back, I think I would have gone for it, to be quite honest. I think I would’ve tried to go a bit further.

00:03:16 I wouldn’t say there’s anything in particular that motivates me that says, “You know, you’ve got to go and do that.” Do you know what? I just take life as it comes, to be quite honest, and just one step at a time.


Lesley T works on the Delicatessen counter at The Co-Op. She has worked there for 24 years, and enjoys helping people, some of whom have relied on her to help them with their shopping for years. With hindsight she regrets not going for a supervisor's job, but at the time she put her family priorities first. "I just take life as it comes, to be quite honest, and just one step at a time."

More information about Sales and retail assistants

average salary

The UK average salary is £28,758

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

62%  female 
38%  male 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future Employment

Future employment?

? Sales and retail assistants demonstrate and sell a variety of goods and services in shops, stores, showrooms and similar establishments.
No minimum academic qualifications are required although some employers may require GCSEs/S grades. Training is typically provided on-the-job. Apprenticeships and NVQs/SVQs in Retail Operations are available at various levels.
  • Discusses customer requirements, including type and price range of goods/services desired;
  • Advises customer on selection, purchase, use and care of merchandise and quotes prices, discounts and delivery times;
  • Advises customer making major purchase on credit terms and arranges finance as appropriate;
  • Receives full or partial payment, checks validity of form of payment, writes or prints bill, receipt or docket and packages merchandise for customer;
  • Arranges and replenishes goods on display stands, undertakes stock checks and assists with the receipt of deliveries from suppliers into the stock room;
  • Handles returns and deals with customer complaints.
Employment by region
Top 10 industries for this job
Retail trade 944926
Wholesale trade 64520
Food & beverage services 62889
Sale of motor vehicles 40828
Accommodation 22511
Sport & recreation 15500
Real estate 11646
Other personal service 9424
Postal, etc 8565
Repair of  goods 8184
Employment status
Skill importance

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