How long have you been a manager? I’ve run stores for 12 years but my previous job was in HR. I started here at the beginning of the year.
Your store is 17 years old. Has it been revamped as part of the £1bn turnaround plan? We haven’t had a full refurbishment but we have improved some of the counters and refreshed the fresh area, and improved the wines and spirits sections within the store.
Have you felt the impact of Tesco’s recent investment in staff to prevent stores “running hot”? Yes. We have around 750 hours extra, that’s about 25 staff. It does make a considerable difference and we’re beginning to see the benefits in-store. It gives staff more time to give attention to shoppers.
Our mystery shopper was complimentary about the helpfulness of staff including one described as a “very good ambassador for Tesco”. Has the service improved? We are constantly retraining staff and it’s really important in an Extra, which has a massive range of products, that they are helpful and knowledgeable in knowing where to find them.
How have you managed to tackle availability issues? We are succeeding. I ensure that my store is very focused when there are stock issues and make sure that we’re most critical of our performance at the busiest times of the day. The first thing is to get staff to face the truth on the shelves when there are problems.
Your part of Cheshire is known as an affluent area. Have you changed your range to reflect this since you started? Over the last couple of months we’ve tried wherever possible to install every line Tesco sells, especially across meat and some of the fresh food lines. We’ve focused more on the more upmarket customers, for example making sure we have the full Finest range on the meat counters and the full Tesco finest range of flowers.