Aspire: Store Manager to Area Manager

Find out more about our career pathway from Store Manager to Area Manager. What skills you will learn and how you will put these into practice, along with how to join the programme and how Poundland will support you.

If you are interested in finding out more speak to your Line Manager or contact the Learning & Development team.


The aim of the Aspire Programme is to provide a structured 9 month development programme to provide a Store Manager with the skills, knowledge and embrace different experiences to build strong leadership skills that are required to be an Area Manager.

The purpose is to develop a strong pipeline of internal talent, developing high performing Store Managers into our next Area Managers to support the target of 85% internal talent.

The Approach

Using a multifaceted approach, the programme will bring experts and experience from all fields to help grow our talent.

Sponsored by subject matter experts, our organisations leaders and supported by a mentoring programme of experienced leaders across the business.

The 9 month programme is mapped against the competencies, knowledge and skills of what makes a ‘great’ Area Manager and all underpinned by our Leadership Principles .

The programme provides on the job activities and observation to ‘live the role’, structured monthly L&D and expert interventions to grow yourself, your team and the business, opening doors of opportunities to be emerged into the role to really experience the role and responsibilities of an Area Manager and finally… some amazing leadership opportunities to help grow, build and shape your personal leadership skills to be a leader of the future.


  • Project work supporting your area, region or the wider business e.g. representing retail on a labour or sales initiative
  • Secondment opportunities in retail or another part of the business e.g. supporting the roll-out of a new initiative or proposition change


(this is based on the English Apprenticeship – for local opportunities relevant to your development, please refer to Apprenticeship Guides)

Equivalent to: First year of a degree

Duration: 15 months, plus 3-month end-point assessment period

Overview: Suitable for experienced Store Managers who have the potential to develop to Regional Manager.

This programme will take a more strategic look at retail management, allowing you to develop a sound understanding of the business and the people management principles needed to achieve the business’s objectives.

Key topics covered:

  • Strategic direction
  • Brand reputation
  • Lead & influence change
  • Marketing strategy
  • Recruitment & retention
  • Development of self & others


If you are interested in finding out more speak to your Line Manager or contact the Learning & Development team.