asda killingbeck dan wharrier

Source: Alan Hood Photography

Winner: Asda Killingbeck Drive, Leeds

Store manager: Dan Wharrier

Opened: 1991

Size: 55,000 sq ft

Market share: 14.1%

Nearest rivals: Morrisons – 2.1 miles, Tesco – 2.1 miles, Sainsbury’s – 3.5 miles, Waitrose – 5.4 miles

Store data source: Analysis by CACI

Call the market planning group on 020 7602 6000

How has Leeds being in tier three impacted sales patterns and habits? Our click & collect service has grown upwards of 300% since the pandemic began, which means we’ve had to massively increase our capacity. All 138 slots are full every day now. Beers, wines and spirits have sold very well through lockdown and that’s continuing because of the pubs being closed. The offers we have on alcohol have without a doubt helped that strong performance, which will only increase as we approach Christmas. We’re seeing really strong early sales in Christmas non-food items too.

How has the kids eat free initiative gone down with customers? It’s had great uptake. It’s operating as a takeaway service right now due to the current local restrictions, but shoppers are really enjoying it. Café customers are also continuing to enjoy our pizzas, which they can order through Just Eat as well. This was originally a pilot that began at this store a couple of years ago. They continue to be very popular, particularly at the weekends. Plus, we’re one of the Asda stores to have partnered with Uber Eats so customers can get their shopping delivered in as little as 30 minutes.

The store scored full marks for service. How important is strong customer service currently? Customers are expecting the very best service now more than ever. We’ve never drifted away from our focus on service – we’ve just adapted it around coronavirus. I’ve really seen employees pulling together to ensure we don’t let shoppers down through this crisis. As the pandemic has shone a light on our importance in the community, the team and I have been given an extra little lift.

What have customers said about the store’s coronavirus safety protocols? We normally get great feedback about our cleaning measures and overall hygiene. Customers really like that we have safety marshals at the entrance and walking around the store answering their queries, ensuring social distancing is happening, making note of pinch points restricting customer flow, showing shoppers where the cleaning products are and reminding them to wear face masks. The marshals hand out face coverings to anyone who has forgotten theirs as well. As for those who are exempt, we trust customers when they tell us they have a medical reason that prevents them from wearing one. We’ve just had antimicrobial coating placed on high touch points throughout the branch, such as the handles on doors, trolleys and baskets, and that’s being rolled out across Asda’s store estate.

What do you make of the ‘happy to chat’ badges Asda delivery drivers are wearing? It’s an outstanding initiative and a great way to encourage conversation with online customers. Bringing in their shopping from the delivery driver could be the only interaction customers get that day. The communities we deliver to will really value and appreciate it – it’s a chance for Asda to show how much we value our customers.