Now in her 10th year in family business Norton House Retailing, which has three shops in Birmingham and Worcestershire, Becky grew up wanting to be a retailer.
“Retailing is in my blood. I’m the fourth generation of retailers in our family,” she says proudly. “I grew up in the business stacking shelves from the age of three! I loved pricing up confectionery and playing shop with the floats. I wanted to carry on the legacy and build on what our family started in 1937.”
Stores: three Spar stores, Birmingham
With this in mind, she went to Nottingham Trent University to study business management, but found that much of what she was learning didn’t tally up with her experiences of working in retail. “What they teach you in theory isn’t really how it works in reality - I disagreed with a lot of it, so I left part way through my second year and went to work at the family business.”
Becky started as a sales assistant, before working her way up to supervisor, manager and area manager before becoming a director at the age of 24. “I had to work my socks off” she says. “Learning to handle a team and discipline them as you move up the ranks is like walking a tightrope.”
Although she was already well experienced in running the business, she did an apprenticeship in level 3 retail management three years ago. “You become blinkered in the way you see things, so the apprenticeship helped with that. It also showed you how to implement new systems to make the business more efficient, such as wastage control and stock loss.”
On top of all her retail commitments, Becky is a full-time Mum to Alfie, four and eight month old Hollie, leaving her with little time to herself. But she doesn’t seem to mind. “I run the business around my kids, working from 7am til midnight every day. It’s tough, but worth it. I couldn’t have a night in front of the telly - I’d be lost without work.”
Going forward, Becky is keen to grow the business further. “I want to expand the business and take more stores on over the next few years and increase sales in other stores, and keep going til 2037 so that we can celebrate 100 years in business!”