We’re in the middle of Wimbledon, how are summer sales? Going very well so far! We have a big feature in the middle of the store filled with Pimm’s, lemonade, Champagne and patio products like plastic tumblers and jugs. We’ve also themed it with some tennis rackets and balls. We love doing things like that.
So what else have you been up to? Earlier on this year we went after haggis sales. The whole team were engaged, we did sampling, we did a feature in-store and put some products to go along with the haggis like neeps and tatties, Scottish cheese, whisky and oatcake biscuits. We saw a 5,000% sales uplift and we were the number one store for haggis sales in the UK, including Scotland. It was fantastic. We got everyone involved and had fun.
Sainsbury’s is considering a price guarantee-style voucher scheme. What do you think? Anything we do to grow the business and grow trade is helpful. We have a great system at the moment with coupons at tills and I have one of the highest Nectar participations in the country. We don’t push Nectar specifically, it’s more to do with the service that we offer here, which builds its own loyalty. I have got great colleagues! I have real butchers and real fishmongers and they bring the product knowledge. We offer a service called Cut and Wrap where we offer specific cuts and premium ranges of meat. It’s all about choice and freshness, and it’s fresher when we cut it and pack it instore.
How did the free flatfish giveaway go? It went really, really well. Sampling to me is a real winner in driving sales. We had three or four different fish, and customers pointed to one they liked the look of. It was a surprise to most of the customers but they all liked it. It will be nice if customers have tried something different because of us. It’s building on the success of Hugh’s Fish Fight, which I thought was great. Our sales of line-caught tuna rocketed after the programme. I had to increase my space for tuna. We used to have two bays, but I have had to increase that by another half a bay.
How do you personally make a difference in store? I am a huge believer in communication and spending time on the shop floor. My customers know me and call me by my first name, and I find that really enjoyable. I have been at this store for 10 years and I love it. I love the people that work here! We all work so hard, so it’s nice to have some recognition for it.