Colette McSorley Asda Chesser Edinburgh

Source: Elliot Caunce Photography

Store manager: Colette McSorley

Store: Asda Chesser, Edinburgh

Opened: 2003

Size: 46,174 sq ft

Market share: 10%

Population: 496,807

Grocery spend: £13,413,690

Spend by household: £58

Competitors: 149

Nearest rivals: Aldi 0.2 miles, Asda 4.4 miles, Co-op 0.5 miles, Iceland 0.0 miles, Lidl 0.5 miles, M&S 0.2 miles, Morrisons 1.9 miles, Sainsbury’s 0.3 miles, Tesco 0.5 miles, Waitrose 1.5 miles

Source: CACI. For more info visit Notes: Shopper profiling is measured using Grocery Acorn shopper segmentation. Store catchment data (market share, population, expenditure, spend by household, competition) is within a five-mile radius. For CACI’s shopper segmentation of the other stores we visited this week see our service & availability report.

How is Christmas trading going? Halloween and Bonfire Night drove sales really early and customers are doing the same for Christmas. Customers are tempted to buy earlier on all ranges, whether it’s mince pies, Christmas gifting, decorations for the house, Christmas trees, toys, Christmas jumpers and PJs.

What is the Asda Christmas product you are most excited about? We are massive this year on [own-brand] Extra Special, we’re really pushing that – the Extra Special mince pies are deep filled and a great line. It’s probably one of those things you could put in your basket every time you’re in. We’ve got really good Christmas trees. There’s a brilliant £85 frosted tree. I’ve had mine for a number of years now and it looks as good as new.

What are you doing to ensure a smooth Christmas? From a fresh food operation side of things, our new owners that have come on board have brought a really simplified approach and it’s about getting our customers the best availability for bakery, produce, meat − that will absolutely drive footfall. We’re probably spending more time resourcing those areas than previously so customers can get the fresh food they would then need for their dinner table for Christmas. We’re gearing up resourcing wise. In the last weeks I’ve recruited close to 25 colleagues. We’re putting more colleagues on our customer service desk and bringing more resources across the checkout to support self-scan and our runners. In terms of drivers − if you know Edinburgh’s employment market − it’s challenging at times. We permanently recruit for drivers. Now, I’ve got four full-time driver positions and two part-time, and I’ve just taken on an extra eight. We have retention tools for our present drivers as well, which allows us to reward them for their service levels, so we do try and offer a wee bit difference for them.

How many Christmas slots has your store booked already? Lots of customers have already booked their spots. They’re already getting ahead of that curve, and therefore it’s allowed them to get Food to Order, for example - so all of that is working well. We have a huge online operation. I have 11 vans and for each of those we can pretty much be picking 27,000 items on peak Christmas week. That service is paramount because we’ve got 3,500 customers we’re servicing through online at peak. We probably delivered about 400 slots today and that’s a normal run. I think at Christmas it’ll go up to about 600-650.

Have you heard any feedback from customers or the team about the Christmas ad? Yes, it’s been really positive. I think a lot of customers have really identified with it and the fact it shows different scenes, so it’s allowing you to visualise yourself and how that would be your own Christmas. We’re actually going to start to identify the gold skates in shops so customers can relate to that.

Aside from Christmas, what other promotional displays are you introducing in store soon? Black Friday is coming up and that’s something we’ve gone big on previously. We have good offers on TVs, toys and hoovers. We’re also bringing it into our fresh food counters − we’re doing offers on rotisserie and pizza counter − and in our grocery department, so those display units will be transforming from this Friday through till the month end. 

COP26 in Glasgow has just ended. What is your branch doing in terms of sustainability? I’ve just changed to an electric car as a GSM – the [company] fleet is now electric, so you can’t purchase a diesel or petrol car. We are introducing electric vans as well. We’re going to start to roll out electric chargers in car parks, because some of our stores have them already. I think we’ll see a lot of exciting things coming from the sustainability strategy next year.