A woman described as a “maverick manager” proved her mettle in a TV programme and won a holiday to Italy.
Pets Corner co-ownerand commercial director Steve Charman visited the Baston store, based at Waterside Garden Centre, in Tuesday’s episode of Channel 4 programme Undercover Boss.
Steve, who was posing as new pet shop owner Aaron Kirkwood, was investigating the problems within the business before a significant expansion plan to open a shop every month for two years.
He visited the Baston site, which was acquired by Pets Corner about two years ago, but described assistant manager Manda Plant as a “maverick manager” after he discovered she regularly organised event days without running them past the head office.
But the vets day he went to proved a success and increased profits by 10 per cent.
During the reveal, he told Manda he was impressed by her initiative and invited her to present her ideas to the head office, as well as accompany him on a product development trip to Italy. He then broke the news that after the trip, Manda and her partner would enjoy a break in Venice.
Manda told cameras on the show: “I just feel quite special at the moment and that doesn’t come around that often. I’ve got goosebumps.”
Afterwards Manda, who herself owns nine cats, two dogs, a snake and two scorpions, said she felt she had been portrayed as herself.
She said: “It was an overwhelming experience and very surreal.
“It was also very rewarding being on the show.”
Steve told Manda on the show that her “good initiative” had created a “real buzz in the store”.
Manda said she always strives to put customers first in her job.
She said: “The customers are so important. It’s not just about serving them, it’s about educating them on animal care. We want people to know we’re there for them.
“Steve is a lovely guy and a great boss. He was pleased with my initiative and I was pleased with the outcome.”
Since the programme was filmed in May, Manda has spoken to people in head office about her ideas and is expecting to take the trip to Italy next year, which she said she was excited about.
Manda said she was “enjoying my 15 minutes of fame” and said while the show was being screened, she received dozens of texts and Facebook messages.
She added: “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every minute.”
In the show, which can still be viewed at www.channel4.com, Steve also visited the Nottingham shop, the East Sussex distribution centre and a rabbit breeder.
Pets Corner has 85 shops nationwide, 450 staff and an annual turnover of £30m.