MARC DOWMAN, OWNER OPERATOR, NEW WORLD MERRILANDS, TARANAKI
Marc Dowman grew up in a range of towns and cities throughout New Zealand but spent most of his time growing up in Raetihi. “Looking back, I enjoyed moving around as much as I did,” Dowman told Supermarket News. “I got to meet a lot of people and experiences of living life in different places. Each place we lived was special but I have enjoyed Taranaki the most.”
As a young man, Dowman wanted to be a detective, but “somewhere along the way my career path changed and supermarkets are where I have landed!” After completing High School at New Plymouth Boys, Dowman went to Victoria University, studying Commerce and Administration. “I really enjoyed the HR element of my studies and how people interact with their workplaces and work colleagues,” he said. “I’m excited to see people succeeding in both their personal and professional lives and I love being a part of that!”
Dowman has been in supermarkets for around 20 years. He started working for his parents and New World Merrilands (the very same business he would go on to own), before moving to Waitara New World. After a stint in Australia, the pull of supermarkets brought him back to New World in New Plymouth, where he worked in shift supervisor, department team leader and store management roles. In mid-2016, he and his wife decided to take the plunge and purchase their own store.
“I enjoy the speed and the nature of the industry,” he said. “There is never a dull moment. I look forward to the challenge and joy of creating a special shopping experience. I get thrills when customers tell me they love the store and love what we do.”
Dowman tries his best to inspire his team and make a difference. “To do this I need to be open, approachable and willing to accept challenges for the betterment of the customer, the shopping experience, the team and the business. “
When he gets the chance to make something right for a customer, Dowman treats this as an opportunity to review the system and process and work out a way that he can improve what he does. “The shopping experience should be effortless from when you walk into the store to when you walk out,” he said. “I am always looking at the ways we can meet our customers’ expectations.”
Dowman works hard on the culture of the business, believing that a business strategy is nothing without the culture. “Any time a customer or team member tells me that I have made their day for whatever reason, to me that is the best compliment!”