“Overseeing a major multiples Convenience operation in the North West heightened the extent of the opportunity in this sector.”
Martin Corban has over 30 years’ experience in the retail sector having joined Sainsburys Graduate Store Manager Programme in 1989.
He relocated to London as part of this programme and worked in numerous large supermarkets running various departments from fresh foods to commercial on his journey towards becoming Store Manager.
In 1992, he was selected to undertake the illustrious role of PA to the Managing Director, Mr Tom Vyner. The mentoring he received from Mr Vyner was invaluable. It shaped Martins understanding of all aspects of the Sainsburys business including marketing, property and finance.
After completing this assignment, Martin moved back to the North of England working in Yorkshire and covering stores in Leeds, Huddersfield and Oldham.
15 years ago Martin moved back to live in his home town of Blackburn. From this base he covered the North West for Sainsburys as a Store Manager. This was a developmental time for Sainsburys as the company expanded into non-food/clothing and embarked on a store extension and acquisition programme under the leadership of Justin King CEO.
As a Senior Manager, he led the team that purchased and converted a Safeway acquisition in Lytham St Anne’s overseeing the delicate TUPE of 170 colleagues, many of whom had worked with Safeway for over 25 years. This task required a careful balance between ensuring staff were dealt with fairly in a very unsettling period, whilst at the same time protecting Sainsbury’s investment and safeguarding profitability post acquisition.
In his last 10 years with Sainsburys, Martin managed the Bamber Bridge Store near Preston, the largest store in the North West with a turnover in excess of £80 million and a colleague base of over 450. In this role he was also responsible for online business delivering over 1100 orders a week. The role also meant the control of all other areas commercially from petrol station, clothing, pharmacy, Argos, café and counters.
Martin was given the responsibility of project managing the purchase of Christie Park, Morecambe FC’s stadium in 2010. This was a £26 million investment that realised Chairman Peter McGuigan’s dream to relocate their ground to a purpose-built facility. It was a very successful investment for Sainsburys with the store now generating in excess of £30 million turnover per annum.
Following this success, Martin was entrusted to project manage a 15000 sq. ft. store extension adding non-food and clothing to their Lancaster superstore. This was a difficult assignment, as the store was landlocked on all sides by a river and dual carriageway. It still stands as the most complex extension ever undertaken by Sainsbury’s. Under Martin’s guidance the initiative went on to generate a further £12million of turnover by the end of year three.
In Martins last 5 years with Sainsburys he continued his work at the Bamber Bridge store in Preston as a Store Cluster Manager. He led a project whose initiative was to save £10.6million by having convenience store managers reporting directly to him, as opposed to relying on the previous regional hierarchy. Having total accountability for these stores provided Martin with a valuable insight into the convenience sector.
Martin was also part of a range optimisation project team whose main focus was to understand what a convenience store product range should look like whether it be neighbourhood, premium or food on the move.
After 30 years, Martins passion for retail was justly rewarded by Sainsburys when his store was awarded the coveted title of ‘Supermarket Store of Year.’ A proud moment for Martin as Store Manager and for those he mentored.
Over recent years Martin became increasingly convinced that he should utilise the skills gained during his career at Sainsburys and take the bold step into business ownership.
“Deep down I have for many years harboured an ambition to take control of my own destiny and set up shop for myself.”
This ambition was realised when he joined forces with his brother in law Kevin Amphlett at the beginning of 2018. Coupled with Kevin’s financial backing and business acumen, together they have mapped out a strategy for expansion into the convenience sector through the launch of AMACOR Capital Ltd.