Q&A with Mark McBurnie Store manager of the week
How easy was it to accommodate the former Co-op staff? It went smoothly. The 90 Co-op staff were delighted to work for Asda because they knew we treated our colleagues better, offered a decent pension and, of course, the discount card. Although they had picked up a few bad habits from Co-op, the training went well. What they lacked in Asda training, they made up for in enthusiasm to learn. Their experience came in useful as we had to recruit and train 140 new members of staff. Before the store opened we had a couple of parties at a local club to get to know each other. Since then the team has bonded fantastically. Has your store been welcomed by the community? Most definitely. People in this area have wanted an Asda store for a long time. I visited this place when it was the Co-op and it looked tired and unappealing. But the builders gutted the old shop floor and it looks great now. We have also increased the footfall of other local businesses because of the large number of shoppers that now visit this area. What is selling well at the moment? Our George clothing range and Smart Price food items are popular because they are more affordable for our locality. Also, I have noticed that in low-income areas, people spend more on festive decorations and our Christmas trees have already been very popular. Because we are still new to the area, we are having to react quickly to selling popular products and, in some cases, we have reduced the footage for premium and more expensive products. What is your average shopper like? This is quite a low-income area with a low employment rate. We get a lot of unemployed customers who shop on a daily basis - they generally buy a lot of tea and coffee and products such as cream cakes and treats. Although we are situated beside a multi-storey car park, most of our shoppers don't have a car so they walk or use a bus.
Asda Wythenshawe, Greater Manchester
0 - This Asda store has only been open three months but it had the strong availability and professional and assured customer services of an older, more established store. It provided every item on the list and our shopper was impressed by the logical layout and number of special offers. All 15 checkouts were open. We visited on 9 November at 1.10pm. Our shop lasted one hour. Time spent at the checkout was six minutes.
Morrisons Baillieston, Glasgow
0 - The aisles at this Morrisons store were clean and free of packing trolleys. The shelves were well-stocked and our shopper managed to buy all 33 items on this week's list. The checkout operator was fast and efficient and the receipt was error-free. Of the 22 checkouts, only nine were open but this was sufficient. We visited on 9 November at 10.05am. Our shop lasted one hour and two minutes. Time spent at the checkout was five minutes.
Sainsbury's Sixfields, Northamptonshire
3 - The lard, prepacked baking potatoes and pint of fresh milk were all out of stock at this Sainsbury's. The floor staff were helpful and guided our shopper to where certain items were but the checkouts were a problem. Of the 34 tills, only 15 were open and queues were long. Four checkout aisles were also blocked by packing trolleys. We visited on 9 November at 9.00am. Our shop lasted 50 minutes. Time spent at the checkout was six minutes.
Somerfield Maidstone, Kent
0 - Our shopper did not enjoy her shop at this small Somerfield store on Egremont Road in Maidstone. The floor was unclean and untidy, and she found some of the staff unapproachable, even surly at times. Although no items were out of stock, the store did not stock six items. We visited on 9 November at 4.50pm. Our shop lasted 45 minutes. Time spent at the checkout was eight minutes.
Tesco Loudwater, Buckinghamshire
0 - The environment was much nicer at this bright and spacious Tesco store. All 33 items were available, easy to find and our shopper was impressed by the helpful attitude of the staff. The checkout assistant quickly passed the items through the till and all 25 checkouts were open, which kept the queues down. We visited on 9 November at 11.30am. Our shop lasted 45 minutes. Time spent at the checkout was two minutes.
Waitrose Evington, Leicestershire
2 - This small Waitrose store was welcoming and well-maintained, according to our shopper. Although the peach slices and baking potatoes were out of stock, availability was good and the meat and fish counter was well-presented. The staff were cheerful and helpful. We visited on 9 November at 9.30pm. Our shop lasted 50 minutes. Time spent at the checkout was four minutes.