Matthew Lacey – LEAD at Nike Designer Outlet, Cheshire Oaks


My HIT apprenticeship has given me the opportunity to not only improve myself but also impact the careers of those I work with.”

Why an apprenticeship?

After studying acting at university for three years, I moved back to my home town and started working at the Cheshire Oaks Nike Store. As soon as I got the job, I really felt at home. It was such a positive environment to be in. Everyone who worked there wanted each other to succeed no matter what they were doing, and during the first three years I worked at Nike, I had so much time invested into myself with regards to excelling in the brand. When I was offered the chance to do an apprenticeship, it was a great opportunity to further my knowledge within the retail environment and pursue a management career with Nike. The Level 2 Retailer apprenticeship has opened doors at every level from a store perspective and head office.

Matthew Lacey – LEAD at Nike Designer Outlet, Cheshire Oaks

Completing a Level 2 Retailer apprenticeship opened up retail management opportunities for Matt Lacey at Nike.


Benefitting my business

During my initial role as an Athlete [customer service] at Nike, I grew in confidence thanks to the apprenticeship and support from my Nike line manager. I was picked to travel to London to participate in the setting up and opening of a brand new store which gave me invaluable retail experience. When I was promoted to a supervisor role, known as a LEAD at Nike, I became responsible for looking after the service department throughout the store. This role required me to develop my leadership skills, and it was important to improve my understanding of the different commercial aspects of the business. With guidance from my HIT Training Consultant, Emily, I learnt how to effectively upscale myself and the individuals around me so that we were all working to the highest possible standard as a team. 

Furthermore, when I applied for the LEAD promotion, I was able to call on the knowledge I’d learned in the apprenticeship to design a 90-day training development plan which I presented during interview to show my passion for the brand. I was able to demonstrate my ability to consider the business needs and forecast ways in which the store can progress. The apprenticeship also helped me contribute towards the performance of the business by designing a Retail Calendar for the store which incorporates upcoming initiatives with Nike.com mannequins and improves communications between the store and the commercial team. This means we can effectively plan ahead and develop ideas for hot products.

The HIT Training difference

My learning journey with HIT Training has taken my confidence to new heights! Putting my ideas directly into practice allowed me to ask those tough questions of what I have not done well enough so I can improve next time. Emily helped me to critique my own performance and put me on the path to becoming a great leader. She even mentored me before my promotion interview. Through the success of my apprenticeship journey, I’ve learned how a traditional business operates compared with how Nike runs on a day-to-day basis. This has allowed me to analyse what can be done differently and develop ways to evolve the store. My apprenticeship has given me the opportunity to not only improve myself but also impact the careers of those I work with by hopefully inspiring colleagues to work to the highest standard possible. I hope to enrol on Level 3 Retail Team Leading once my End Point Assessment is complete and create even more career opportunities.


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