You’ve just got back from a twoday team building exercise. How did it go? It went really well. We are building strategy for the forthcoming year. There will be a slight change in emphasis and direction at Tesco, with lot more activity around pricing strategy. We can see that consumers are looking for more promotions. Historically, promotions were only 15% to 18% of Tesco’s sales, but that has now increased to 25% to 30%.
What impact have the recent price cuts had? Customers have embraced them. These cuts have bought us firmly back into line on price. We are very competitive now and it also gives customers peace of mind.
Have you had any refund vouchers go through your tills? We have had some, but not a significant amount, which is a good sign. Any we do get we communicate to head office and we move into line on price as quickly as possible. The most important thing is the customer feedback. With the economic situation at the moment customers are much more savvy on price and they know what your competitors’ prices are.
How do you ensure that you are better than your nearest rivals? We make sure that the shelves are full throughout the 24 hours that we are open. We measure availability in the morning, the afternoon and the evening. And there is a friendly competitiveness around the departments to make sure that their availability is best in the store.
What is selling well in store at the moment? We have a buy-one-get-two-free promotion on eggs and they are just flying out of the store. And we are really bucking the trend on nonfood. It is selling really well despite being a declining market in most Extra stores. We had a recent extension to accommodate 2,000 more lines, and we are now a destination store for non-food.
How do you personally make a difference in store? I talk to everyone. It is all about communication. The really good managers are the ones who are comfortable talking to people. I have a really good rapport with my customers just from walking about the sales floor - you get to know your regulars. It is the best form of feedback you can get because they will tell you about both the good and the bad. I can then feed that information back, and every time I do that I can see a positive reaction. There is a real desire in the business to be competitive on price.