Scott Hogg (1)

Source: Scott Hogg

Store: Tesco Ellon

Manager: Allan Wilson

Opened: August 2007

Size: 15,145 sq ft

Market share: 43%

Population: 14,912

Grocery spend: £427,685

Spend by household: £66.87

Competitors: 3

Nearest rivals: Aldi 1.2 miles, Asda 12.3 miles, Co-op 1.9 miles, Iceland 13.5 miles, Lidl 13.3 miles, M&S 12.0 miles, Morrisons 13.7 miles, Sainsbury’s 14.7 miles, Tesco 12.6 miles, Waitrose 107.0 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 and availability report

What has your career at Tesco looked like? I’ve been at the Ellon store for seven years. I’m 22 years total with Tesco, 37 years total in retail. I started when I was a boy at Fine Fare, and then Gateway, then Somerfield and Co-op. I’ve been a store manager at 10 stores.

Do you think there’s a lot of differences between the stores you’ve worked at? You get rural stores and you get city stores. And the culture in both those stores with the customers and the colleagues are different just because of the nature of them. In rural stores your team generally stays with you because they tend to live and work in the town. The city stores you have a lot higher labour turnover, so you see a lot more different faces and it’s a lot faster-paced. I prefer the rural ones because I like to have a team around me and we take on a journey to deliver results.

What’s the best aspect of the Ellon store? The shop itself is lovely. I’m in a lovely affluent town and it’s a commuter town. It’s 25 miles outside of Aberdeen and the oil industry is predominantly the highest employed demographic. However, all the kids that come up through Ellon, all the mothers or fathers that need a job, work in my store and work local. So everybody’s very loyal to Ellon as a customer and as a colleague.

How does your store feed into the community? Because we are fortunate to be in an affluent town, we do a lot of work out in the community, helping those surrounding areas that are a bit more down-market or where there’s more unemployment. We are very big on the food bank, local community events and The Trussell Trust: we collect donations from customers and we distribute it back to the people who are a little bit more in need. We’re very big on food waste: at the end of the night everything that does not sell we give it back to the community. On top of that, as a store manager, I’ve just finished a charity event for Tesco. So me and 13 store managers just walked for two days over hills towards the most remote pub in Scotland, at Knoydart. We did it for our charity partners, which is heart foundation, diabetes and cancer, and we’re just raised £18,500 for our charity.

What challenges has the store faced over the past year? The cost of living challenge is absolutely real to every colleague and every customer, and it’s about recognising that.

Everything from food donations to free items in the canteen for the colleagues, to free sanitary products in the toilets for colleagues, to making sure that we get behind every initiative the company has, to make sure that prices are as cheap as possible. We’ve got lots of great offers on the shop floor and we have to continually just make sure that the standards are excellent. Clubcard Prices gives you phenomenal deals at the shelf edge. And I’ve gone from 51% people using the Clubcard to 72% in my store. It drives loyalty, but more importantly the customer gets a great price.

How have you been pushing shopper take up of the Clubcard in your store? We were always very good at it. It depends on the demographics or your customers: if you’ve got very speedy customers they just want to get in and get out. If you’ve got a customer that wants to come to the shop and take some time, you’ll find that they’ll use the Clubcard more. It is just about getting my front end team in a place that they have great conversations with customers, it was about getting my price integrity team to really make sure we are advertising as well as possible, and at any opportunity to have helpful and friendly conversations with customers, to basically get the deals. At the moment if somebody didn’t have a Clubcard, we would then encourage them to sign up for a Clubcard, which then would allow them to get the deals in their next shopping trip. So just by being really interactive, and properly getting involved with every customer who shops.

How do you foster a good team environment in your store? The big thing for me is I train them, I train them from day one. I communicate to them every day via social media or via face to face. I absolutely try to make their job as enjoyable as possible by recognising everything that’s good or bad in the store. As a team I always involve them when there’s a problem. I involve them, and together we aim to win together.

That culture I’ve done for seven years in this store. Once a year we get a measure that identifies the moral in the store, and I’ve been fortunate in this store to be delivering 90% plus on that measure. At the end of the day it’s a lonely job being a store manager, but what makes it good it good is the team around you.

What are your plans for the store as we move into winter? The first thing I look at doing is I identify all the tools that I need to survive a harsh winter in the north east of Scotland. So everything from welly boots to thick jackets, to making sure we’ve got snow shovels. Second, we start looking towards Christmas and what resources we need. Some departments triple in sales in the month of December. I’m doing work on that just now to recruit more people to help me to get through December.

I double my sales in December, so I’ve then got to increase my resources to be able to handle that. Every year I capture learning, so last year’s learning I make sure to implement this year. Last year it wasn’t so much about snow, it was about how we handle wind damage. We got hit particularly badly by that really bad storm. It’s about how do we now fix the maintenance, how do we now look at what isn’t in the best condition possible to handle that, so that we can proactively go into December, January, February, and March, the storm season, and make sure we survive it. My ultimate goal through the worst weather, the worst conditions, or whatever the problem is, is still to make sure that my shopping trip isn’t impacted. My role in this store is to be open everyday, and to provide that service every day, to give the customers what they want.