Books, News and Confectionery Trading Director, WHSmith

From Finance Graduate to Trading Director, hear how Al Aldous has made his career work for him!

Al Aldous – Books, News and Confectionery Trading Director, WHSmith

Al Aldous has been at WHSmith for 15 years, starting as a Finance Graduate and rising through the business to now being responsible for Books, News and Confectionery trading. When we caught up with Al he was passionate about how his career has grown with him during his time at WHSmith and how he has taken each opportunity to try something new.

We were really interested in what Al does each day and he shared with us 3 useful insights; Planning is a huge focus for him and his team, what’s coming next, what’s working and what the future looks like as this helps shape what customers will see. Another item big on the agenda for WHSmith is education and literacy and they have raised money for the National Literacy Trust to support literacy skills for disadvantage children.

WHSmith has worked with authors including Zoella and Tom Fletcher to inspire young readers and they are proud to run the Richard and Judy Book Club which has supported the careers of over 200 authors. And it’s not just authors they have supported. In the past year they have given their Store Managers extra skills in managing Mental Health and have trained over 1,100 on Mental Health First Aid England courses, as well as raising over £500k for Mind.

Whilst Al was the first to admit that retail is challenging environment to work in, the work he has been involved in has also been incredibly rewarding. WHSmith is a business with a 225 year history and if anyone knows that there is more to retailing than stacking shelves it’s them. Retail, for Al is fresh and exciting and his advice is to give it a try and find what works for you!

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