The significant overhaul of Barossa Co-op’s Foodland and shopping precinct, which officially opened late last year – is just the start – a confident Neil Retallick says.
“We are only at the beginning of this new chapter,” the Co-op’s new CEO revealed.
Mr Retallick, with board chairman Phil Schmaal, did highlight Foodland’s internal cafe to offer more, however, good things come to those who wait with full details still under wraps.
On Friday, just five days into his role, Mr Retallick shared how impressed he was with the working team.
It was late last year when he entered the new supermarket shop floor for the first time and was “staggered” of the amazed kind by the “unbelievably” friendly staff.
“Seven years in Sydney and every retailer would aspire to get friendly, competent staff like this,” he said.
Mr Retallick believes the Barossa is fortunate is to have a Co-operative which works for the people and supports its community.
He referred to the ongoing sponsorship which supports community groups.
Mr Retallick further pointed out the unique relationship of the Co-op bringing into its precinct – national supermarket competitor Aldi.
“Competition is good, it keeps us strong and sustainable, and also delievers the community with benefits of lower cost items that Aldi provide,” he said.
“I see nothing but opportunity for this (Co-op) organisation – it’s a win for them (the community) and a win for us.”
Mr Retallick, who ticked all the boxes for his appointment, had a strong marketing background, and had served on the board of the internationally acclaimed University of SA-based Ehrenberg-Bass Institute of Marketing Science.
“Importantly he has worked for many years in member-owned and member-driven organisations and understands the importance of how the co-operative and mutual sector values its members,” Mr Schmaal told the Barossa Herald last year when Mr Retallick accepted the position in in early December.
He replaces previous CEO Graeme Longmuir and his predecessor David McArthur.