Liam checks in to compete for top spot
At just 18 years old, Huntly’s Liam Loveridge is working his way to the top of the Countdown checkout ranks.
The Huntly College head boy made it to the top 20 in New Zealand within the supermarket chain after coming first in the North Waikato region.
On August 28, he will compete for the overall Checkout Operator of the Year award in Auckland.
‘‘It’s pretty cool, I never thought I’d get this far... it’s pretty awesome to achieve this for someone in Huntly.’’
To win the regional title, Loveridge was interviewed and came under scrutiny of a mystery shopper who judged him on customer service, packing and speed.
He couldn’t pick out the shopper, but said that in itself was a personal test to prove he performs well no matter who comes through the doors.
The determined teen hasn’t always held so much confidence however.
It’s been two years since the ‘‘terrified’’ younger Loveridge started at the store which was his first job.
‘‘It wasn’t really the people that scared me, [I thought] was I going to scan the wrong thing? Or give the wrong change?’’
But with time, Loveridge worked his way up the ranks and it’s all second nature to him.
Nowadays he doesn’t have as much time on the checkout.
But that hasn’t stopped him from having the highest scan rate in the Huntly store with around 21 items per minute.
Processing big bags of coal and reduced to clear items are challenges, but he ensures they get done as quickly as possible.
‘‘Customers don’t want to stay in here too long... at the end of the day, customers are the most important thing.’’
In his last year at high school, Loveridge is set for tertiary study next year. Working as a supervisor at a young age, he’s discovered a passion for management and said he will take every opportunity that comes his way.
Liam Loveridge has mastered the art of being a checkout operator and is ready to compete against 19 others finalists from across the country for the Countdown Checkout Operator of the Year.