This week’s #TeamMemberTuesday is featuring Brian, Merchandising Planner at Giant Eagle’s Corporate campus. Brian joined the Giant Eagle family at just 17 years old pushing carts and never imagined that would be the beginning of a long, successful career at Giant Eagle. He quickly took on leadership roles and learned that there is much more to Giant Eagle than just “selling groceries”. Read more about what inspires Brian and why he has chosen to build his career here.
How did you come to work for Giant Eagle?
I started with Giant Eagle in July 2010. I was very young at the time and was still in high school. I was looking for a job to put a few extra dollars in my pocket, and my parents wanted to teach me work ethic and work life balance. At the time, I had no intentions of making a career out of it, but I started pushing shopping carts at the Canfield Giant Eagle. Fast forward throughout my career, I’ve had the opportunity to work in many different roles throughout the store. Most of my career has been spent in Retail Operations, including managing departments, customer service and the front-end. I have also worked on some new store openings, which were awesome experiences as well. I helped open the Grandview Yard Market District and the Carmel Bridges Market District.
Brian, Merchandising Planner at Giant Eagle
So, I’ve held a variety of roles throughout the store including some store leadership roles, and now I’m working in the Merchandising Department as a Merchandising Planner. I essentially manage the day-to-day in merchandising plans for the stores. My career has certainly come full circle, and there are a lot of parallels between the two.
Why have you chosen to stay with Giant Eagle for almost 10 years?
First and foremost, I think Giant Eagle does a great job of being a people-first business. In Retail, we are in the people business. I’ve watched, not only myself, but others around me be empowered to have direct control over their personal growth and their development. There are many resources that are available to us at Giant Eagle that are invaluable. I’ve really been able to own my career path and be the decision-maker for my future. I have personal and developmental goals, and I’ve been able to watch those come to fruition, which has been one of the most gratifying things about building my career at Giant Eagle. It’s a people-first Company that truly cares about the developmental piece.
What do you love most about your current role?
I love the innovation aspect of my current role as a Merchandising Planner. I work with food and I try to describe myself as someone who discovers the pleasure of food. Throughout my career in retail, all the behind-the-scenes decisions and planning had already been made as product arrived at the store. Now, I find myself even more involved in guiding our total company’s strategic plan aimed at meeting and exceeding our customers’ expectations. It’s opportunities like this that make Giant Eagle a rewarding place to work, and for me, a very gratifying career path.
Is there anything else you would like people to know about Giant Eagle?
Everyone views it as “just a grocery store” or your “just working with groceries”, but I think what people don’t understand is that it’s more than just an apple or a pear or a can of green beans. The work that we set out to do everyday is inspiring and we all have the same common goals. I think there are a lot of misperceptions around what we do and how we do it, so really reemphasizing the difference we make in people’s lives, whether it be fellow Team Members or the guests that shop our stores. There’s an overall bigger and broader mission than just “selling groceries.” At Giant Eagle, we’re selling an experience.
“First and foremost, I think Giant Eagle does a great job of being a people-first business. In Retail, we are in the people business. I’ve watched, not only myself, but others around me be empowered to have direct control over their personal growth and their development. There are many resources that are available to us at Giant Eagle that are invaluable. I’ve really been able to own my career path and be the decision-maker for my future.”