Shop worker’s 40 years in the carpet department

A loyal shop worker has rolled back the years after celebrating four decades of carpeting Norfolk's homes through his job at a family-run department store.

Brian Wright reached the milestone 40 years after joining the Aldiss store, in Fakenham, as a teenager.

After spending two years learning his trade selling furniture and upholstery, he specialised in carpets, working as a fitter for six years before returning to the shop to estimate, plan and sell flooring designs.

His memories chart the growth of the store and its move from Norwich Street, where staff used the former Bell pub as a storage room, to its current home on Oxborough Lane.

At 57, Mr Wright is still a few years away from retirement, but said he has no plans to change career in the meantime. 'I couldn't see myself doing anything else,' he said. 'It is the camaraderie, really.

'I have seen so many people come and go, but they have always got on with each other, right from the bottom to the top.

'I was always taught to look after my customers in the way I would like to be looked after.

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'What is strange, being here 40 years, is that you look after some people as a couple and years later you are looking after their sons or daughters.

'I have had that a few times. It really makes you think, but it's quite nice too.'

Mr Wright said many things had changed since he joined the firm to work a five-day week, with a half day on Wednesdays and no Sunday openings.

'They were good old days and I remember them well,' he said. 'Retail has changed a lot over the years, but there has not been much change with the carpets – it has only been in the last 10 years the planning side of it has gone computerised. You've still got to measure up, estimate and work out the most economic way to do a house.'

Mr Wright lives on North Park in Fakenham with his wife Christine. The couple have three children, Jeremy, Gemma and Jessica.

Gavin Secker is general manager at Aldiss, which also has a superstore on Hall Road in Norwich.

He said: 'Judging by the number of comments I get from customers, the service that Brian gives really stands out. Nothing is too much trouble for him.

'The number of people who come back to deal with Brian on recommendation is more than anyone else I have ever worked with – and that is testament to the amount of work he puts in with his customers.'

chris.hill@archant.co.uk

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