Q&A with Paul Barwick Store manager of the week
How did the recent security alerts at Tesco stores affect your branch? All store managers were briefed quickly. Tesco communicates well as a business and we were informed as to what we should do if anything serious happened. But as a store we hold evacuation exercises and the staff react professionally and calmly. Which products are selling well at the moment? Our non-food section is going from strength to strength, with sales of CDs, books and televisions gaining particular momentum. We've also put a lot of effort into our fruit and veg range. Staff have been retrained to monitor and maintain the quality of the fresh produce and replenishment is an ongoing process. This can present challenges as we are a 24-hour store so there's no real quiet time to stock up. We don't want aisles to be clogged up with packing cages so we take care to eradicate congestion and ensure trolleys can move freely. How busy are you late at night? I have about 60 night workers who replenish stock between 10pm and 7 in the morning. It can be busy until 1am on Thursdays and Fridays. What would you like to change about your store? It wouldn't be anything in the shop. Being successful leads to challenges. Our car park only has so many spaces How do you keep your staff motivated? We have a sales activity called Driving Trade where individuals choose a product and champion it to the shoppers. If the product has sold well after a few weeks, the worker will be rewarded with a bottle of wine and an award. It's a great morale booster and has encouraged some impressive results. And I still like to get stuck in. I'm an ex-butcher and the other week I put on the hat and apron and helped behind the meat counter. It's only when you work shoulder-to-shoulder with staff that you truly appreciate their great efforts.
Asda Corby, Northampton
1 - The cleanliness and neat organisation of this large Asda outlet satisfied our shopper, although some aisles were encumbered with packing trolleys. There was no stock of loose broccoli - our shopper was told it had been ruined by flooding. The staff were polite and helped our shopper find items, and 34 of the 38 tills were open. We visited on 13 July at 10.55am. Our shop lasted one hour and nine minutes. Time spent at the checkout was five minutes.
Morrisons Easterhouse, Glasgow
2 - The Glasgow Fair holiday period meant this Morrisons was especially quiet, although our shopper said the store was looking good and staff went above and beyond the call of duty to help. The Ginsters Cornish pasty and the 6-pack of Mars bars - on special offer - were out of stock. Seven of the 28 checkouts were open. We visited on 13 July at 9.04am. Our shop lasted 48 minutes. Time spent at the checkout was three minutes.
Sainsbury's Hedge End, Hampshire
3 - The stock levels at this Sainsbury's were low and the assortment of boxes and cartons on the floor meant it could have been tidier. Notices informed shoppers that poor weather was affecting availability for vegetables. The staff were friendly, though the queues were long with only 24 of 38 checkouts operating. We visited on 13 July at 3.58pm. Our shop lasted one hour and seven minutes. Time spent at the checkout was 10 minutes.
Somerfield Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex
3 - Stocks were also a problem at this diminutive Somerfield branch. The carrots, broccoli and mushrooms were out of stock and the Shreddies, mushy peas and beef braising steak were not stocked. Staff were busy cleaning empty shelves when our shopper visited and the store was packed, with only two tills open. We visited on 13 July at 10.40am. Our shop lasted 36 minutes. Time spent at the checkout was six minutes.
Tesco Sandhurst, Berkshire
0 - This giant Tesco Extra wins the Top Store award because of its fantastic availability, logical layout and cheerful customer service. The numerous special offers were well-signed and the chirpy checkout assistant packed our shopper's bags. Although it was busy, queues were flowing steadily. We visited on 13 July at 11.05am. Our shop lasted 50 minutes. Time spent at the checkout was three minutes.
Waitrose Horley, West Sussex
1 - The staff at this Waitrose were more than happy to guide our shopper to various items and the well-maintained store had a happy atmosphere. However, no help was offered to pack our shopper's bags and the own-label Scotch eggs were sold out. We visited on 13 July at 7.30pm. Our shop lasted 45 minutes. Time spent at the checkout was three minutes.