James Kinnear

James Kinnear

How do you explain your profession to people outside of the industry? What do you find most exciting and/or rewarding about this work?

What are the core requirements of your job and how do you measure success?

The core requirements of my role center around leadership, strategic planning and operational management. I am responsible for guiding ALDI’s ecommerce strategy and performance, so my main KPIs are traditional revenue and fulfillment metrics (e.g. forecast vs actual sales, sales development, customer satisfaction and picking speed). I need to balance thinking for the future and planning two-plus years out, while also monitoring the day to day and ensuring our customers have the best possible experience while shopping ALDI online.

What is one notable professional achievement you've made over the past year that you are most proud of?

Creating and implementing ALDI’s multi-year ecommerce strategy. It has been incredibly rewarding to see the first year of this strategy being successfully implemented with the launch of ALDI on DoorDash as well as numerous operational improvements.

What professional challenge or failure has stuck with you, and how did you embrace it?

Early in my career at ALDI, I ran a store as a temporary Store Manager. It was here that I learned some of the most important lessons about leadership, delegation and empowerment. I was so new that I made so many mistakes and each one led me to take more responsibility back from my team members, so after a few weeks I was working constantly. I learned after coming close to burning out that doing everything myself was impossible and that I owed it to my team to delegate responsibility while also providing clear guidance. I continue to live that lesson today by empowering my teams as much as possible.

What trend or technology do you believe will have the most profound impact on your work (and the work of your peers) over the next year?

I believe that contrary to highly publicized and reported advanced use cases, AI will help transform administrative and repetitive tasks significantly in the retail space.

If you could say one thing to your younger self, what would it be?

Don’t waste today by worrying about tomorrow!