Customer service and availability are the key drivers for me and are also the two most important measures for driving footfall and growing like-for-like sales, which is exactly what is happening at Patchway. I'm lucky to have such a fantastic team who are 100%-dedicated to meeting all of our customers' needs. In terms of availability, it's all about empowering your colleagues and fuelling their desire to keep their departments well stocked. If they see a gap they fill it immediately because they are so proud of the store and they want it to look good, not because I tell them to.
What are you most proud of in the Patchway store? The sheer size of the store means there is always a really exciting buzz about the place, and with 800 colleagues to take care of there is always something going on. However one of the things I am most proud of is the very clear succession plan we have for our colleagues to get into management. It's called the Stepping Stones programme and next year six of my colleagues will be moving into new management positions. I get a real buzz out of helping them develop their careers with this company. It's a hugely satisfying thing, and if I get new managers out of it then it's doubly fantastic. Your store attracts a higher proportion of wealthy shoppers than a typical Asda store. How do you deal with this? Patchway is no ordinary Asda store. Its Supercentre status means it is a real destination store and people travel far and wide to come and do their shopping here. We have a vast catchment area and incredibly variable shopper profile, but I don't do things any differently here than in any other Asda stores I have managed. We are very clear as a business as to what we are about and that's everyday low prices and great quality. My view is that it doesn't matter who you are or where you come from - everyone likes a good deal.