Asda Newport Rhys Webber (2)

Source: Rhys Webber

Michelle Lambert was talking to Lilith Foster-Collins

Store: Asda Newport
Store manager: Michelle Lambert
Opened: 2009
Size: 40,126 sq ft
Market share: 14.2%
Population: 185,656
Grocery spend: £4,471,569.96
Spend by household: £56.31
Competitors: 33
Nearest rivals: Aldi 1.1 miles, Asda 1.9 miles, Co-op 1.0 miles, Iceland 0.5 miles, Lidl 0.1 miles, M&S 0.4 miles, Morrisons 1.0 miles, Sainsbury’s 0.3 miles, Tesco 0.6 miles, Waitrose 6.7 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 the online report at

What stands out about the store? I’ve been in the store for around 18 months now. We are in a very unique area. Demographically we have lots of ethnicities, so we celebrate Diwali and Eid and some African Caribbean festivals too. We have to capture all of that and it brings a uniqueness to our store.

How do you ensure you’re representing your diverse community? It’s about knowing the backgrounds of your customers, and spending time with our colleagues, who are from different backgrounds too. We have to get to know our customers and know what their celebrations are, but also take the time to understand what that celebration means to them.

What celebrations do you have in store at the moment? We have Diwali, which is on 12 November, and then we’ve got Christmas as well. For Diwali that’s things like dates, rice, certain oils – bulk items. Also noodles and all the different spices and sauces.

Where were you before this store? I’ve been with Asda for 12 years now. I started as a George manager. I was deputy store manager in Cardiff Bay, which was also an ethnically diverse store, and taught me a bit about managing a diverse store. My first store manager role was at Lanchester.

How has your Just Essentials range been performing in store? Just Essentials is a very good range for us. We do have a lot of struggling families where we are, so we make sure that value is highlighted across the range. We always have extra of the Essentials range to make sure we have it stocked.

How have the price cuts gone down in store? The price cuts are going very well. They are highlighted in store and we have the point of service that shouts value across the store. We are concentrating on what is important to our customers right now – which is feeding their families at the right cost.

Have you tried any of the Asda M&S taste match products? What did you think? The cakes were the ones for me personally. We went to a conference and tasted some of the products including the lemon drizzle cakes. You didn’t even realise the ones you wanted the most were Asda. It just goes to show it doesn’t have to cost more to have that taste.

And what response has the campaign had from shoppers? It has highlighted to customers, especially some of our older customers who might be more likely to shop at M&S, that we can do that too. We can offer that value and that taste, and some of our products actually taste better than M&S ones. We’ve also done some sampling in store to highlight this.

Do you have an online operation in your branch? We have a click & collect operation, which is forever growing. We started out needing only three staff per day – we are now up to six people per day. People are using the facility a lot more.

How are you preparing for Christmas when it comes to click & collect? We have orders going in, and we’re doing Christmas Eve this year as well. We’re making sure all our colleagues are fully trained because demand does pick up massively. We are picking from 3am to 8pm. The service has to be 100%. We’re talking to customers and making sure they get everything they want.