Q&A with Phil Reddyhoff Store manager of the week
Are any products selling particularly well at the moment? Our organic and Fairtrade food range used to be a bit too high-end. It was different and not really popular with customers. But they have now gained significant interest. George clothing has also really developed. I think this is because customers appreciate the garments are made in the UK and so do not have a large carbon-footprint. Consumers tend to prefer locally produced goods because of their lower environmental impact. Have any products surprised you by their popularity? The hot spring has meant our garden furniture range has rapidly moved out of the store. Staff have done a great job on display too. We actually had a stock issue as we sold out of the furniture. Garden furniture sales were up 100% on last year's takings. Have you got any refits planned? We are incorporating a new clothing and fashion roll-out called E5. Rather than have straight up-and-down aisles, we will have a snaking walkway through the area. It will only take three or four days to rearrange the aisle but it will look great. What is the latest piece of technology in your store? We now have eight top of the range self-scanning checkouts. A single operator looks after every four tills to assist customers if they need it. I think the fact that we have doubled the number of checkouts in such a short period shows what a successful system self-scanning checkouts really are. Do you have an online service? Yes. Our online service for groceries is doing especially well at the moment. We are due to have more slots and are having to expand our food and drink out-take by 20%. How green is your store? Our Bag For Life scheme has been amazing. People deposit carrier bags in 4 ft square boxes and for every five bags we give them a Bag For Life. We've been emptying these boxes four times a day!
Asda Handsworth Road, Sheffield
0 - This week's top store had a full basket, was well-signed and, although it was busy, demonstrated fantastic customer service. A female greeter welcomed our shopper to the store, which was appreciated. Of the 31 checkouts, 30 were open and so queuing was minimal. The staff were especially cheery and polite. We visited on 11 May at 10.29am. Our shop lasted 56 minutes. Time spent at the checkout was six minutes.
Morrisons Acton, West London
1 - Some of the aisles were hampered by packing trolleys, our Morrisons shopper said. When she asked for advice on wine, an assistant said it wasn't his section and told her to go to customer services. The checkout assistant didn't say please or thank you and charged for an orange instead of the grapefruit. The tomato puree was sold out. We visited on 11 May at 12.50pm. Our shop lasted one hour and four minutes. Time spent at the checkout was three minutes.
Sainsbury's Sixfields, Northampton
1 - The popular Sixfields Sainsbury's outlet was well-merchandised and free of shelf-stackers and packing trolleys. The Kettle chips were out of stock, although our shopper noticed a number of special offers throughout the store. A comfortable 21 of the 34 checkouts were operating and the assistant communicated well with our shopper. We visited on 11 May at 5.15pm. Our shop lasted 45 minutes. Time spent at the checkout was three minutes.
Somerfield Cowdenbeath, Fife
2 - This Somerfield was out of stock of white grapefruit and the Hardys Stamp Shiraz wine. However, our shopper was impressed by the helpful staff. A customer comments folder revealed customer services to be a strength of the store. A sufficient five of the six tills were open and the store was bright and tidy. We visited on 11 May at 9.57am. Our shop lasted 39 minutes. Time spent at the checkout was four minutes.
Tesco Hookwood, Surrey
1 - Our Tesco shopper was impressed by how well-merchandised the store was, although it was out of stock of McCain Home Fries. A few stray packing trolleys were spotted in the aisles but they were not obstructing the shoppers. Helpful staff guided our shopper to certain items and 13 of the 16 checkouts were operating. We visited on 11 May at 3.10pm. Our shop lasted 45 minutes. Time spent at the checkout was three minutes.
Waitrose Peterborough, Cambridgeshire
1 - This Waitrose branch had sold out of Hovis medium sliced bread and did not stock the Heinz ready meal or turkey steak. However, the store was clean and the staff were knowledgeable. Help was offered to pack bags and 11 of the 13 tills were open. We visited on 11 May at 9.30am. Our shop lasted one hour and five minutes. Time spent at the checkout was four-and-a-half minutes.