store manager

Asda just recorded its first like-like for-like sales increase in three years. Does this reflect your experience? Absolutely, I have been in retail for 32 years and 14 of those with Asda. I feel that Asda is really getting back to doing what it does best. You can see in stores we are getting focused on having the right price and simply selling stuff. Morale is very high right now.

How is CEO Sean Clarke getting on? He is doing a great job. He has been very clear with the direction he wants the business to go in. We recently had the quarterlies where he visited all the GSMs. He set out his strategy but also listened to what we had to say.

Winner: Asda Portlethen

Store manager: David Byars

Opened: 1986

Size: 50,000 sq ft

Market share: 35.9%

Nearest rivals:

Tesco - 3.5 miles

Sainsbury’s - 5.6 miles

Lidl - 6.1 miles

Iceland - 6.1 miles

Morrisons - 7.7 miles

Store data source: Analysis by CACI. Call the market planning group on 020 7602 6000

Part of this strategy is improving customer service, isn’t it? That’s right, there is a big focus on service. We introduced a new training programme at the start of the year called easy, fast, friendly, which every colleague has to go through, It is all about making the shopping trip as simple as possible, as quick as possible and making sure colleagues are as friendly as they can be at all times.

It certainly seems to working in your store. Yes, I made sure I took all 310 colleagues in our store through this programme personally. It was a big investment in time but it has really paid off. They are all really invested in what we are doing here. We have a great mix of colleagues here as well with some very experienced people as well as students who have just joined. But they are very committed and there is a great sense of teamwork, which is pivotal to our success.

How has the summer been for you? It has been very successful. Obviously the weather has been a bit mixed but we have had some great spells. We ran a big outdoor event that involved garden furniture and the like and it went really well, with double-digit sales growth. We have also done well on the George clothing range - particularly the kids’ stuff.