How often do you visit your rivals? I go into Sainsbury’s at least twice a week. I think we’re better than them. Our availability is always better, they have very little staff on the shop floor and their store looks grubby.
It’s been reported that larger supermarkets are losing sales as customers try to avoid driving. Have you been affected by this? We have seen more top-up shopping since the recession began, but we do get people coming from all over as well. Quite a lot of people come because of the underground carpark – they can do their entire shop without getting wet. We also have a promotion on petrol, which gives customers up to 15p per litre off their fuel if they buy Lynx, Robinsons and Duracell items. I don’t know the exact uplift on those lines, but it’s thousands of per cent.
Which promotions are popular at the moment? ’Buy one, get two free’ deals are extremely popular. We have customers that come in just to get a few of them. Schools in Northern Ireland start to go back next week, so there’s also been a lot of interest in our promotions on stationery and clothing.
Have you introduced any new lines recently? Last week we brought in the new Tapas at Tesco range, selling six for £10. We’ve had a lot of interest from customers on that.
What interaction do you have with customers? I carry out a complete shop with customers once a month. You get the true facts of what customers like about their store and what they don’t like, and how you can improve. I also carried out customer focus groups when we expanded the store and brought in a dedicated customer service manager.
Have you changed anything as a result of feedback from customer focus groups? If someone was living on their own, they said they wanted smaller sizes of ready meals. We were able to accommodate that by feeding back and getting smaller meals brought in.
What did customers tell you they liked? They love the kiddy carts on the front of the trolleys. The mother knows where the child is and the child is happy because they think they’re driving the trolley.
What work do you do with the community? I personally do interviews with sixth form students, as if they were going for a job, and give them feedback. We have students from the schools working here part-time and some of them end up on Tesco training schemes. We also fundraise for charity and have raised £6,500 since April.