Supporting Retail Success: The Warehouse Group and the Stephen Small award


The Warehouse Group is passionate about retail – we think it’s an amazing industry with fantastic career potential. That’s why we’re supporting Massey University’s Bachelor of Retail and Business Management (BRBM) and have created the Stephen Small academic achievement award.

The award gives one lucky tertiary student a research project grant and the chance to shadow one of The Warehouse Group CEOs for the day.

As the inaugural winner, Maddie McLean was looking forward to making the most of this unique opportunity: “I think spending the day alongside Pejman Okhovat, CEO of The Warehouse and Warehouse Stationery and the team I met along the way gave me valuable insights into retail. I went into the Store Support Office ready to soak up whatever came along my path.”

Training the retailers of the future

The Warehouse Group has been involved with the Bachelor of Retail and Business Management from the beginning. We partnered with Massey University to develop the degree as part of our goal to change the perception of retail in New Zealand.

We feel that retail gets a bad rap – it’s seen as boring, unchallenging, or a stepping-stone on the way to other careers. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Our team members are passionate and excited about their jobs, and the rapidly evolving retail environment means that it has its fair share of challenges.

Maddie agrees: “Retail is diverse, complex, and dynamic, but also fundamentally simple. It’s about getting the right things to the right people at the right time. I believe a career in retail could take me anywhere, from working on the store front to dealing with suppliers or working in the corporate environment– the opportunities are literally endless and that’s exciting, as I don’t want to get stuck doing one thing for the rest of my life.”

Shadowing Pejman Okhovat

Pejman Okhovat is CEO of The Warehouse and Warehouse Stationery, part of The Warehouse Group. He started his career with Marks and Spencer in the UK and spent ten years working with a range of UK retailers before moving to New Zealand in 2005. He began as The Warehouse’s Head of Central Operations and became CEO of Warehouse Stationery in 2013, then added Torpedo 7 and most recently is the CEO of The Warehouse & Warehouse Stationery. Pejman’s career with The Warehouse Group is an example of how many opportunities there are in The Warehouse Group to grow your retail career.

Over 20 years in the business has given Pejman a unique perspective on the retail industry. Maddie was excited about having the chance to learn from his knowledge, experience and expertise. For a student, it’s a unique and valuable opportunity.

“It was a great opportunity for Maddie to experience the daily activities of how we run our business, and we hope in the future to be able to inspire and mentor other students from Massey to enable them to see a bright future in Retail.”, Pejman Okhovat.

Working with the Warehouse Group

Part of our partnership with Massey University involves our team members visiting the campus and talking to students. Because we believe in the future of retail in New Zealand, we find this access to future retail stars incredibly valuable. It helps us identify and recruit future team members, and helps students understand what our business is about.

Maddie explains that her experience with the TWG team has given her a great impression of the business. She’s particularly impressed with our commitment to our people and environment: “TWG seems extremely authentic in their approach to caring for their people, caring for their customers, caring for their suppliers, and caring for New Zealand and the environment. I think TWG has a culture of excellence, inclusion, transparency, hospitality, and collaboration.”

Her experience during the day with Pejman made her excited about the possibility of working with The Warehouse Group in the future.

“It was potentially the best day in my retail journey so far! I’m super grateful and appreciative not only for this evidently special opportunity but also for how hospitable and welcoming everyone was. My day was super easy, seamless, I never felt out of place, and I really felt comfortable even in such a new and different environment. This is something I will always see as an important, valuable, and meaningful experience in my own #retailcareer.”

Want to get excited about retail? Get in touch to find out more about the varied, challenging career opportunities with The Warehouse Group.

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