Makro’s new Health and Cycling buyer, Craig Bateman, is no stranger to the industry: he got to know the sports retail industry inside out over the seven years when he was senior planner for Makro’s whole sports department. In addition, he has a passion for retail.

In August he took over from Mark Cawood, who left the business in July.

“I was very involved with the buying when I was the planner, so luckily it has been a fairly easy transition into buying,” he says. “My technical knowledge on product will just need to be up-skilled”. He will also be traveling to factories and will be more involved with developing product than as a planner.

“Fortunately, I have worked with all the vendors previously and have a good working relationship with them.”

He will also be more involved with special promotions, for example, the forthcoming promotion with Raleigh and CHOC (Childhood Cancer Foundation), whereby Makro will make a donation to CHOC if a customer purchases a Raleigh cow bike.

Bateman has been working for Makro for thirteen years – the last one in the camping/braai department. Prior to joining Makro he was a planner at Edcon for four years.

He has spent almost his whole career in retail after matriculating from St Johns College in 1989 – the only exception is a two-year stint at Colibri towels in Port Elizabeth. He even worked in-store at Stuttafords while studying retail business management at the University of Johannesburg during the early 1990’s.

“I think the ever-changing environment and fast pace is what made me stay in retail once completing my diploma,” he says. “It is a great privilege to be able to work in an industry that I truly have a passion for and could not think of another job that I would rather be doing.”

He is now even more in his element as he has always had a huge interest in sport and played most ball sports during his school career. “Currently, I am cycling and have completed five 94.7 races and one Argus (Cape Town Cycle Tour).”