Meet Mark Thomas, Accessory Shop Manager
company news / accessories / motorhomes / shop
Mark has just joined the team after 22 years working for another dealership and he is looking forward to a new challenge! Outside of work he enjoys motorhoming in the New Forest, birdwatching, DIY and gardening.
What does your role involve?
As shop manager, I’m responsible for the general management of the shop, making sure everything is as it should be and that the shop is running well. This encompasses sourcing and ordering new stock, serving customers, assisting my colleagues in any way I can and thinking of new things to buy in.
It’s important to always be thinking of ways to keep the range fresh, constantly changing and upgrading things to keep the customers interested and to be able to offer them something new and exciting each time they come in.
What is your career background?
I’ve worked in the industry for 22 years! I’ve managed the accessory shop of another local dealership for the past 20 years and gained a great deal of experience during that time. I recently decided it was time for a change so I got in touch with James Southwood, who I’ve known for many years. When he discovered I was looking to move on, he was keen to have me on board! It was great to be welcomed so warmly by James and the rest of the team here, many of whom are familiar faces!
What do you like about caravanning?
I have owned several caravans in the past - in fact, James sold me one many years ago! I’ve got a motorhome at the moment and I just love the freedom that caravanning and motorhoming gives you. It enables you to get away at the drop of a hat and you’re free to do what you want, when you want, get up when you want and simply enjoy! I love the New Forest and I go there often; it’s right on our doorstep and there are so many beautiful places to pitch up. I love being near nature, especially hearing the owls at night! I have an awning and it’s great spending time out there in the evenings as you really feel part of the great outdoors.
What do you find most rewarding about your role?
For me it’s all about helping the customers find what they need. When you sell them something they really want and they’re pleased with it, it gives you a great feeling of satisfaction. I like to make sure that all my customers get the right thing for their needs and when they come back into the shop after their trip to tell you how great that item was, that’s hugely rewarding! I’ve always worked in customer-facing roles and I love dealing with people even after all these years!
Do you have any aims or plans for the coming year?
I just want to get to know the business more; many things are done differently here so I have a lot to learn, but I’m looking forward to that. We’ll soon be embarking on a project to create a new online shop, which is exciting and it will be great for the business as well as our customers.
What attracted you to working for Winchester Caravans and Motorhomes?
I knew some of the staff from my previous dealership and it was nice to know there would be some familiar faces. When I was thinking about my next move, I looked online and I could see how well they’re doing as a business and there was a lot of evidence of the great customer service they provide, so I could really see myself working here. Since joining, everyone has been so friendly and welcoming. It’s a great place to work and I’m looking forward to my future here!
Read some more staff interviews or check out our Meet the Team page!
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