I hear winning store manager of the week is something of a career ambition? It would be fair to say I’m verging on obsessive about it. Over the years it had never come to my store for some reason but I always felt I’d have a chance of winning if we were involved. Just the other week I was saying to my wife, perhaps it is never going to happen. I’m overjoyed and proud to have done it.
Winner: Tesco Mannings Heath, Poole, Dorset
Manager: Andy Hossack
Size: 60,000 sq ft
Market share: 10.1%
Nearest rivals: Iceland - 0.8 miles; Co-op - 0.8 miles; Lidl - 1.3 miles; Aldi - 1.8 miles; Sainsbury’s - 1.8 miles
Store data source: Analysis by CACI. Call the market planning group on 020 7602 6000
Why were you so confident you would win given a chance? Someone once told me the best thing you can do as a manager is get in early every day and walk every foot of the store. I was in at 7am this morning and spent two hours walking the floor with my managers, looking at things we could improve.
How do you keep up morale with such high expectations? It’s important not to be too dictatorial. I’m there as a coach. You need a different approach depending on experience. My bakery manager has been here 28 years so there’s a different approach to managing him than staff who are in their first jobs.
How did you start at Tesco? As a YTS trainee. Since then I’ve done various jobs around the store and been a manager for over 10 years now.
How are you coping with competition from the discounters? One of Lidl’s new so-called flagship stores opened just up the road in the past 12 months. I think we are managing to be very competitive on price, that is the feedback I’m getting from customers.
What sort of things have you been doing to improve customer experience? We’ve had a lot of tastings. Along with our Food Love Stories campaign, we’ve had other foods to sample on the counters, for example. we recently did one on breads of the world. The cheese and chutney cob was particularly nice.
Have things like Food Love Stories helped encourage more home cooking from scratch? Staff are not afraid to Google recipes and talk to customers about how they could best use the food. That’s an absolute paradigm shift from the sort of service you got years ago.