10 Quick Fire Questions with Sean Tarpey

Company / Business: SuperValu & Centra Retailer
Number of Stores: 2
Number of Employees: 60 Full-Time & Part-Time
Years in Existence: 27


1 – What made you choose CBE as your EPoS supplier?

CBE was a company I worked with prior to owning my own shop. The service CBE provides is so important to the successful operations of my shops, I need to be sure I have the best. Also, being an Irish company based in Mayo was important, Especially for on-site service!

2 – What are the main trends you are observing within your industry?

Over the last 2 years, food retail has been recognised as a front-line service by the public. As independent retailers, we have always run our businesses for the community we serve, and this enabled us to step up during Covid. We were set up for Online and Click & Collect pre-covid, so when the demand for these services increased we were ready. When the trend to self-service increased, we were also ready.  If nothing else, covid has thought us the importance of our staff, suppliers & IT partners to enable us to react to trends, the number one being our customer’s needs & expectations.

3 – Can you describe what a typical working day looks like for you?

A walk of the shop at the start of the day was always my first duty, It tells you all you need to know. Stop off at each department and have a chat with colleagues, every one of them. Building a bond of respect is so important in any team. Next, I would review all the sales reports, you have to have all the information to make the right decisions. My favourite part of the day was always chatting to the customers, asking their opinions on products, and on any new service we were providing, etc. Always making sure to be up to date on GAA/Rugby results was also a must!

4 – What do you love about your job?

Ever since I started as a trolley boy in Quinnsworth Galway in 1981 I loved the interaction with people, both colleagues, and customers. 40 years later nothing has changed. Also the pride in walking into the car park each morning, and walking the shop floor & saying to yourself ‘Tarpey we are ready to do business!’.

5 – What do you feel is your greatest strength?

The Experience I have gained over 40 years from trolley boy to owner.

6 – How do you think your employees would describe you?

Fair & honest! My door is always open.

7 – What job role within your company would you be terrible at?

Anything to do with computers. Management bought me my first laptop during Covid, set it up so I could see all the reports, and create a few of my own. How things have changed.

8 – What is the most heartwarming thing you have ever seen an employee do for a customer?

To be honest my colleagues go out of their way every single day for our customers. There isn’t a day that goes by when I am on the shop floor that customers say to me ‘Sean you have wonderful staff here’.

9 – How do you relax after a hard day at work?

Play golf, and be with friends & family.

10 – Finally, if you could have lunch with one person, who would it be, and why?

My Mum & Dad, they died too young.