Retail Executive
Vue Cinemas

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Zak M

0:00:03 My name’s Zak. I’m the Retail Executive here of Vue. We’re in charge of purchasing all the goods that we sell in the cinemas behind the kiosk which we call our concessions area, so coke, popcorn, confectionary, that sort of stuff, pic n’ mix. We make sure the deliveries go into the cinemas and make sure that we clearly explain the briefing documents that we send out. Periodically, we have promotions that have to be displayed or not displayed at different times of the year. That’s basically what we do.

00:00:36 It’s strange because, to be honest, the reason that I took this job in the cinema as an operative, I was a simple general assistant when I started. I just took it because it was an evening job and I wanted a job in the evening to do while I was at college. You know, I fell into it and I started serving the popcorn, you know, and then I moved up through the ranks as supervisor, staff trainer and I became a manager and then, you know, I’ve worked in a few of the London sites.

00:01:08 Obviously it’s good to be in a job that you know where the people who are speaking to you and asking you questions are coming from because I actually worked my way up through those ranks. So when I speak to them, I feel like I can identify with their problems and issues.

00:01:25 What was I like in school. I don’t think my schooling or anything hasn’t…the passion was never oh I want to work in a cinema and I want to be around films or be in the movie industry. It was literally I fell into it because it was evening work. But, you know, I was doing a day job at the weekend in a hospital. I was working as a waiter. It was miserable and then I’d actually look forward to finishing work at 3.30 after having been at work from seven o’clock in the morning to going to the cinema to do another eight hour shift that started at six. Which is strange because you’re not supposed to look forward to going to work that much I’m sure, but it was fun.

00:02:09 I was at college studying art and design and I wanted to specialise in product design and do a degree and design kettles and toasters and that just never happened. I actually decided after finishing college that I would take a year out, make some money, buy a car and I did all of that but I just never went back.

00:02:37 It wasn’t a conscious decision to not go to university. I just think it just sort of happened that way. You get promoted and start feeling good about your promotion and before you know it, you think well may be just one more year. When you’re younger, you don’t realise how much the money can make you feel good. I think as you get older, you realise that. Sometimes that degree really stands you in good stead for may be coming in at a higher wage. So in some respects, I do regret it.

00:03:08 I was doing a lot of evenings and weekends which was great and it’s very infectious because it’s a buzz when it’s busy but then your social life kind of takes a different route so your social life becomes the cinema. And the lure of working in Chiswick Park, having weekends off and finishing at 5.30 or 6 was enough to be a pivotal moment I think when a vacancy came up here. Yeah, it was completely life changing. You know, weekends to myself. I didn’t know what to do for the first few weekends. I was actually going to the cinema at the weekends. Yeah, so I’ve been here like many three years now so I’m used to it.

00:03:54 Yeah, obviously I’d like to move on from this stage, perhaps be, you know, the stage above mine is quite a big jump ‘cos my boss is the head of retail so he’s, you know, he’s cost price negotiating and looking at contractual agreements and stuff like that which I’m not doing. I mean I can understand them but obviously for me to be doing that, would mean that you would need to not be there so I’m working on that. No, I’m not working on that.


Zak M is a Retail Executive for Vue Cinemas. He is in charge of buying the refreshments that are sold in the foyers. He didn’t start off looking for a career in cinemas, he just really enjoyed the evening job he did there while he was at college. He carried on working for Vue instead of going to university, and worked his way up. “I was doing a lot of evenings and weekends which was great and it’s very infectious because it’s a buzz when it’s busy but then your social life kind of takes a different route so your social life becomes the cinema.”

More information about Sales and retail assistants

average salary

The UK average salary is £29,813

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

39%  male 
61%  female 

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 921706
Food & beverage services 64302
Wholesale trade 61783
Sale of motor vehicles 39616
Accommodation 23198
Sport & recreation 14481
Real estate 10507
Other personal service 9212
Postal, etc 9037
Repair of  goods 7526
Employment status

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