Ocado staff to experience best of Sunderland

STAFF at Ocado Retail’s award-winning Sunderland contact centre are being encouraged to indulge in the city’s vibrant cultural and leisure offering.

The world’s largest online grocer has signed up to a number of incentives to help its staff lead more fulfilled lives, as part of its commitment to improve the work-life balance of its employees.

This includes tickets to see West End productions through the Sunderland Empire Corporate Club and rewarding staff with Sunderland Gift Cards, which can be spent on everything from shopping to the cinema, a night out or dining at Sunderland’s great restaurants.

Kelly Swinney, head of customer operations at Ocado Retail, said: “Our staff have been key to the continued success of our contact centre, so we’re delighted to be able to reward them for all of their hard work with these new incentives.

“Not only will it allow us to extend our thanks to them for their amazing work, but it will also help us support local businesses and give back to the city which has been ever-so-welcoming to us since we moved here in 2020.”

The Sunderland Empire on High Street West is just a few minutes’ walk from The Beam and is the largest theatre between Leeds and Glasgow.

Ocado Retail has signed up for its 1907 Corporate Club which is a yearly membership scheme giving businesses access to a host of key benefits including generous ticket allocations.

Paula Mitchell, sales and development manager at Sunderland Empire, said: “We are thrilled to welcome Ocado to our 1907 Corporate Club. This will form a long-standing and mutually beneficial partnership with such a fabulous, recognisable brand. We are privileged to be welcoming Ocado’s staff to our wonderful shows to give them a well-deserved evening at the theatre with the finest hospitality.

“Our membership schemes include generous show ticket allocations (as per membership band), hospitality, company logo inclusion on various advertising platforms, ad hoc staff ticket offers and more. I look forward to enhancing our relationships with local businesses by aligning them with the best in live theatre and our highly engaged audience.”

The Sunderland Gift Card is the brainchild of the Sunderland Business Improvement District (BID).

Introduced as part of its on-going commitment to boost the local economy, over 200 city businesses have signed up to the initiative since its launch in November 2020, with sales surpassing £125,000.

Ocado was the first large organisation to purchase corporate gift cards back in 2021 and has increased its commitment since The Bridges signed up to join the scheme.

Sharon Appleby, chief executive of Sunderland BID, said: “It is fantastic to see Ocado Retail introducing the Sunderland Gift Card into its range of employee perks.

“Ever since the company opened its contact centre here, they’ve made a real effort to get involved with the local business community and support local events and this is another fantastic example of that in action.”

Ocado Retail found out about the offers after attending one of Riverside Sunderland’s monthly tenant networking events.

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