Chris Hughes morrisons cheadle heath stockport

Chris Hughes was talking to Stephen Jones

Manager: Chris Hughes
Store: Morrisons, Cheadle Heath, Stockport
Opened: 1997
Size: 45,212 sq ft
Population: 687,596
Spend by household: £60.34
Competitors: 121
Nearest rivals: Aldi 0.2 miles, Asda 1.4 miles, Co-op 0.8 miles, Iceland 1.2 miles, Lidl 0.9 miles, M&S 1.3 miles, Morrisons 2.8 miles, Sainsbury’s 1.2 miles, Tesco 0.4 miles, Waitrose 1.6 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? It was my 25-year anniversary in November. I’ve only ever worked for Morrisons, starting as a student, working my way up through departmental roles, and have been in store management for 12 years. I’ve actually only been at this store for four weeks.

How did you prepare for the new role? We have a full handover process, but the main thing for me is just talking to colleagues and customers. They will tell you everything you need to know about a store.

What are your impressions of the store? I would class this as a real traditional Morrisons. The Market Street and fresh food offer is incredibly important to customers. We’re proud of the scratch bakery, meat, and fish department, we’ve got a brilliant deli. There’s a lot of competition in Stockport, it’s a very up and coming place. The store is situated right near the airport, so we get a lot of cabin crew passing through on their way to catch a flight. We get a real mix of customers.

What’s morale been like since new CEO Rami Baitiéh joined? Morale has always been good; you’re always working with colleagues who want to do their best. But Rami has brought energy and new ideas. His passion for customers is incredible and it filters down to us.

What’s been the impact at store level? He’s given store managers more freedom to act on customer requests. We’ve got new lines of communication and direct access if a customer asks us for something. If we were to raise a request, for example a new line, I would certainly expect it to be in store within a week.

We are really starting to look at the ‘experience’ side – look at every customer and put ourselves in their shoes. We invite customers into store twice a month now to get their feedback, and then react to that. It’s been really powerful.

The mystery shopper described staff interaction at the checkouts as the “highlight” of the visit. Is that something you really work on? We have 180 colleagues, a lot of them long-serving, and everyone works incredibly hard to create a family feel. Colleagues themselves are keen to be multi-skilled, which gives us a great opportunity with the counters.  

From a checkout perspective we have every base covered – a large number of self-scans and a large number of main bank tills. We’ve also recently opened a ‘kids checkout’. It’s one smaller checkout that customers can take their children through, and the children can scan the shopping as well.

What’s the thinking behind the kids checkout? We want to cater for families and encourage them to shop with us. Speaking personally, my kids are one and two, so going shopping can be a bit challenging sometimes as they need to be occupied. Anything we can do to make the customer journey a little easier for parents is welcome, and it’s been really well received.

Have there been any other major changes in store? We had a refit six months ago. The real focus was on highlighting the counters and fresh food – the things Morrisons does differently to everyone else. The bakery range has been extended, and we’ve got a new hot counter  as well as a new meat and fish department. The store wasn’t dated before, but the changes have taken it up a notch.