Senior fresh produce managers have found themselves stacking shelves as part of a new initiative in Asda.
The entire head office fresh produce team took over the roles of the shop floor staff for a week at the retailer’s York store recently. Robert Willey, a produce marketing assistant who has taken on the temporary role of produce manager, said the move
was to provide new experiences and help in the search for improvements in the fresh produce arena.
“When it comes to fresh produce, the York store is our trial store - a store of the future. We took our produce colleagues out of the store and replaced them with the Asda House team.” While senior fruit buyers got to grips with stacking shelves and helping customers, the regular store staff were given the opportunity to visit suppliers and find out about the other end of the supply chain. Willey said that head office staff were given the chance to see things from the shop floor perspective.
“It gives us the opportunity to be able to see what sort of problems we cause store colleagues. We might think that something is a good idea, but it may not work in store and we may not be completely aware of that.
“It’s a bit of a culture shock for some of the team because they’ve never had to work on the shop floor before.”
The team was instore for a week and the members are now set to evaluate the data gained and weigh up the benefits to be gained from the experience.
Willey added: “It’s an ongoing project, but we will see if it is worth doing similar things in other stores in the future.
“First we must assess what people got out of the exercise.”
Ed Bedington