Store: Asda Wolstanton
Store manager: Mike Bruen
Size: 51,000 sq ft
Market share: 9.0%
Morrisons - 0.8 miles
Sainsbury’s - 1.1 miles
Tesco - 1.3 miles
Store data source: Analysis by CACI. Call the market planning group on 020 7602 6000
How were Black Friday and Saturday? We opened at 8am, but people had queued from 4am. Footfall was higher than usual - especially on Saturday. TVs were the fastest selling items, but toys also sold well. Your mystery shopper visited us at one of the busiest times, but we still delivered good customer service. This was because we had robust plans in place - there was no pandemonium.
How did you control the crowds? We controlled the stock, we only sold discounted items in controlled areas and we had plenty of staff in those areas, who helped customers choose items and move them out quickly. We also made sure all shoppers - even the ones queuing outside - know what was still available - so we managed shopper expectations and emotions.
Which Christmas products are popular with shoppers? During the past week, it’s been our trees and decorations selling fast, but shoppers have just started on the food and drink Christmas shop as well, with wine, sauces, beef joints and alcohol selling well. The Extra Special range is also popular, especially as we’ve rolled back the prices on some items in this range. In mid-December we’ll see fresh food pick-up, and all of a sudden shoppers will start heavily trading into those products.
How has the management restructure affected your store? It’s always hard in the first instance, but the new section leaders are getting stronger each week. They’re learning during a really busy period where they’ve experienced Black Friday and are facing Christmas but these experiences are great for them. I’ve been coaching them and they’re learning how to make more and more decisions on their own.
How has your recent refurbishment worked out? It was the biggest Asda remodelling this financial year - with the work finishing on 4 October. We got a facelift inside and out. The store is now bigger, clutter-free and has clear entrance points so shoppers can navigate from foyer, to store, to check-out easily. All the fixtures and fittings have been changed in most of our sections and we have a new customer restaurant and new petrol station.
What has been the customer response to the remodelling? They love it - they say it’s airy and lighter - though we’ve had to re-educate shoppers on where everything is, as our layout has changed so much. The remodel has helped us attract new customers too. Work finished on our store four weeks before the new flagship M&S opened at the other end of our car park. Our store complements M&S’s offer and our new, modern building has helped win over potential new customers.