Paul Finch morrisons

Paul Finch was talking to Stephen Jones

Duty manager: Paul Finch
Store: Morrisons, Market Street, Chapel-en-le-Frith, High Peak
Opened: 1998
Size: 18,300 sq ft
Market share: 28.9%
Population: 49,348
Spend by household: £61.60
Competitors: 12
Nearest rivals: Aldi 0.5 miles, Asda 7.9 miles, Co-op 0.2 miles, Iceland 4.4 miles, Lidl 8.3 miles, M&S 8.4 miles, Morrisons 4.8 miles, Sainsbury’s 4.7 miles, Tesco 3 miles, Waitrose 4.4 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

How long have you worked for Morrisons? I celebrate 30 years next month. I’ve been a store manager over 20 years, and I’ve been at this store just over four years now. This is my fourth Grocer 33 win. One was in Eccles, and the other two were in Cheadle Heath, which also won two weeks ago. The team here are just the best I’ve worked with in those 30 years.

The store is a bit smaller than a traditional Morrisons… It’s an old Safeway. It’s quite a small Morrisons, but it does punch above its weight in takings for its size. It’s an affluent town, but it’s quite remote and there’s not much competition in town in terms of big shops. We’ve got everything in store, it’s just on a smaller scale and a reduced range. The Market Street format is what really stands out in Chapel. Even though it’s a small town there are no other butchers or bakers, so people come to us for fresh meat and fresh fish. We’re not cannibalising from other small food retailers, and it really adds to the feel of town.

The store got top marks for service. What drives those standards? We have 92 members of staff, with over 30 people who’ve been here since opening day, so it’s a really established team and they’re just naturally really nice. But as a business we are currently working on the customer focus. Rami Baitiéh’s focus is on the customer. We’re already very good at it and now we’re taking it to the next level. Our aim is for the customer to feel better when they leave the shop then when they came in.

How are you trying to do that? We’ve recently started hosting customer round tables to better understand what the customers want, and they’re working really well. Because it’s a small town, there are no clothes shops or anything like Currys or Dixons nearby, so our customers are asking for a bigger clothes range and bigger electronics range, which we’re working on. We need to be a one-stop shop. The town has got quite an old population. We’ve got a lot of customers who really enjoy the feel of Morrisons, they just want a bigger range of essentials.

What else has changed under the new CEO? There are two main focuses. The first is on availability, so that’s revisiting stock management routines. The second is putting the customer first and foremost in every decision we make in that shop. These aren’t new processes as such, just tightening up what we already do and turning it up a notch. Everything we do is all about freeing up tasks so colleagues can focus on customers.

Our mystery shopper noted the digital shelf labels in store. What’s the impact been? It’s a brand-new initiative we’re trialling. The labels have made a massive improvement on price accuracy across the shop. Colleagues previously did that work, but now price increases and decreases are automatic, which has enabled us to release colleagues to serve customers even better. Our size and strong operation were part of the reason we were chosen.

What’s your main focus as a store for the coming months? Beyond Easter, we’re really focused going into summer. Being in the middle of the Peak District we get lots of tourists, campers and walkers coming in. Our café gets very busy with the amount of cyclists and walkers coming into town.