St. Charles, Ill. Store Director recognized for sales, great customer service and community involvement
The prestigious retail award celebrates store managers across the country who generate sales growth, provide great customer service and play an integral role in the community.
“This is only possible because of my team working hard day in and day out to deliver such great results,” Patel said. “This nomination means a lot to me. I thank my family, and truly my entire team, for supporting me and working extremely hard to do their best.”
Having begun his career in retail as a teenager, Patel joined Meijer as a store director in training 6 years ago and has since grown to lead three stores across Illinois. Patel attributes his success at Meijer and throughout his 30-year career to a strong work ethic.
“In retail, you can make the difference by working hard,” Patel said. “My dad used to say, ‘any work you do, do it from your heart. Give your 100 percent and success will be right there.’ When I started in retail as a 16-year-old pushing shopping carts, my goal was to be a store director, and by working hard to make things happen, here I am today.”
“Minesh always puts people first – whether it’s by putting in extra effort to engage and develop his team, keeping his customers and community front of mind or providing guidance to his fellow leaders throughout his region – and that emphasis on people is more important now than ever before,” Meijer President & CEO Rick Keyes said. “Even in a year marked by challenges both global and local, Minesh has found even more ways to serve his team and community, and we are pleased to see him receive industry-wide recognition of his exceptional work.”
Patel agrees that being a store director in 2020 presents new challenges that he had never encountered in his lengthy retail career. But he says the key to making it through is showing up for his community in whatever way they need him.
“As a store director during a pandemic, my role has changed significantly,” he said. “It’s more than selling groceries at this point. It’s about saying, ‘what can I do as a store director to provide alternative solutions to their needs, whether they are a team member or a customer?'”
Patel’s passion and commitment to his community has not gone unnoticed by locals. Patel describes one morning in April when he arrived at his store early to find dozens of handmade signs taped to the front doors thanking the heroic essential workers who work inside.
“Literally, I stood there for 10 minutes and told myself, ‘everything you have done for the community, they appreciate it'” Patel said. “It brought tears to my eyes. That’s what it means for me to be a community partner and deliver those results.”
As part of the FMI recognition, Patel qualifies to be a part of the online People’s Pick Award contest that kicks off Monday, Aug. 10 and ends Friday, Aug. 14. At the end of the week, the nominee with the most votes will win a special trophy and $500 to celebrate their store team members. FMI will announce the award winners, including the People’s Pick, on Aug. 17.
About Meijer: Meijer is a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer that operates 253 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin. A privately-owned and family-operated company since 1934, Meijer pioneered the “one-stop shopping” concept and has evolved through the years to include expanded fresh produce and meat departments, as well as pharmacies, comprehensive apparel departments, pet departments, garden centers, toys and electronics. For additional information on Meijer, please visit www.meijer.com. Follow Meijer on Twitter @twitter.com/Meijer and @twitter.com/MeijerPR or become a fan at www.facebook.com/meijer.