Tesco is launching a few venture brands like Yoo yoghurts. How are they performing? The new venture brands are popular – the Yoo yoghurts sold especially well. The new Parioli brand for Italian food launched yesterday, but as we are quite a small store we only have a small range so far: the pasta and the pasta sauce, both of which seem to be quality products that look good on shelf. I have looked at the space I have got and will try and introduce some other lines too.
What else is selling well? Promotions are on the increase and are selling well. We had some roundpound promotions on crisps, which boosted sales by about 30%. Bigpack beers were selling at two for £16 and three for £20 – that was very successful. We have had great weather over the past few days, which has helped, plus it was Wimbledon weekend so we saw an uplift in strawberries, cream and Champagne. We had a national promotion where you bought strawberries and got the cream free. We linked that into associated lines like meringue nests.
What is your favourite thing about your store? The people. Everybody bonds together to make a very family unit. We all muck in. I am always on the shop floor – continually talking to staff and customers. I get a huge amount of useful information from them. I ask about our staff and they tell me how friendly and helpful they are, or I ask about range and they are quick to tell me about the quality in store or what they would like to see. They are a very useful mine of information.
What is the most significant company-wide initiative that you have had to handle? I think having been involved with the launch of Clubcard and then staying on top of it, and continuing to innovate with it. We understand our customers far better now: their shopping habits, what they buy, what they want to buy. That wealth of information is so useful to the company, and it breeds loyalty as well.
How have shopping patterns changed since you started working for Tesco? I joined Tesco 26 years ago. Back then you would see people doing a one-week shop. You still see that but you don’t get the same spike. Customers come in more frequently doing top-up shops. I think it’s because customers are looking for freshness, and they are more conscious of waste. And they are obviously mindful of what they have to spend, so are spending little and often rather than making a huge purchase once a week or once a month.