the Co-op

A Day in the Life of a Co-op Team Leader

We got chatting to Greg Yuill and Simon Taylor all about what it’s really like to be a Team Leader at the Co-op.

We all know and love our local Co-op.

It’s no surprise that it’s the UK’s fifth biggest food retailer, and better yet the nation’s largest Fairtrade retailer. Partnering up with iconic festivals like Glastonbury, donating stock to charity, and offering support to local causes – the Co-op’s focus is on bringing people together and improving communities. It sets itself apart from other retailers with its focus on ethics, democracy, equality and solidarity.

And with so many stores across the nation, there are tonnes of opportunities available for everyone, whether you’re looking for a part-time job, a quick summer gig, or a chance to grow your career within an established business.

You can even get stuck in right NOW. The Co-op is currently hiring for Retail Team Leader positions through Placed App. This role is perfect for those who enjoy the retail environment and want to gain leadership experience.

Curious about applying? We chatted to Greg Yuill and Simon Taylor, both Area Managers who’ve been working closely with Co-op Team Leaders for years, to learn a little more about what the role entails…

Greg joined the Co-op originally as a Store Manager, and has stayed within the business for 8 years. As an Area Manager he looks after 21 shops in Bristol and South Wales.

“Team Leaders often progress to become Store Managers. So part of my job is to spot talent, spend time with those who are interested and able to progress, and help them with their development.”

“Team Leaders mainly work either one of two shifts – early or late. If they’re on an early shift, they’ll be working with one or two other colleagues, either in the bakery or helping on the tills doing newspapers and magazines. The Team Leader will typically be managing stock and handling deliveries until around lunchtime.”

“Team Leaders on night shifts tend to be managing the stock from around lunchtime, before resetting the store at night and making sure procedure is followed and items are all on the shelves.”

“They’ll also be coaching other people, giving feedback to team members on shift, and dealing with customer queries and complaints.”

“They are the heartbeat of the store. While they’ll be handling stock most of the time, they also need to be adaptable in order to manage deliveries. In return we’ll help them to develop their decision-making and leadership skills.”

“Many people who join us on our training programmes are shocked at how much less corporate our workplace feels compared to other big name food retailers. There is a strong supportive culture at the Co-op.”

“With us, you’ll be guided rather than told what to do, which gives people autonomy and freedom. We work in a structured way, but one of our mantras at Co-op is ‘Be yourself always’, and we truly live by that. We try to build diverse teams where people think differently, and that’s what makes it an interesting, fun environment.”

Download the Placed App, set up a profile and start matching with jobs.


Simon is an Area Manager who’s been working for the Co-op for 14 years. He’s worked in a number of different roles, from Team Member to Team Leader to Store Manager and beyond.

“I started off working in the Co-op as a Saturday job while I was doing my A-levels. While working in stores, I was offered a fast-track management course. I wasn’t really interested in university or further education and wanted to start earning, and it was a great opportunity.”

“The Team Leader’s main priority is to look after, care for and lead the team they operate with. It’s a very colleague and customer focused role. You will get experience in stock management, waste routines, community involvement, cash management and much more. It’s a great job because it really opens your eyes up to what the full management role is like.”

“There are also apprenticeship opportunities for Team Leaders, as well as internal development programmes and courses to help Team Leaders progress their career at Co-op.”

“People who are adaptable, good multi-taskers, eager to learn and who genuinely care about our customers tend to make great Team Leaders.”

“Our vision at the Co-op is to Cooperate for a fairer world. And you can see it in all the amazing things we do to support local communities. Whether that’s working with Marcus Rashford to help end child food poverty, the waste campaigns we’re doing with council’s around the UK, or the Fairtrade campaign we started back in the 1970s. If working for a business that’s about more than just turning a profit is important to you, then it’s a really amazing place to work.”