Josh Stephenson Morrisons Chesterfield

Source: Sandstorm Photography

Store manager: Josh Stephenson

Store: Morrisons Chesterfield

Opened: October 2004

Size: 25,110 sq ft

Market share: 14%

Population: 150,437

Grocery spend: £4,083,746

Spend by household: £59

Nearest rivals: Aldi 1.8 miles, Asda 1.8 miles, Co-op 0.5 miles, Iceland 1.2 miles, Lidl 0.9 miles, M&S 1.2 miles, Morrisons 4.9 miles, Sainsbury’s 2.2 miles, Tesco 1.1 miles, Waitrose 9.2 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 & availability report.


Tell us about your career? I’ve been with Morrisons for 12 years, starting as a student and working my way up through various different stores and roles. I’ve been a store manager for four years but was asked to hold this store over Christmas – I started here last week – so it’s obviously the team that deserves all the credit, not me.

What are you particularly proud of since you became a store manager? During the first lockdown last year, we launched the home delivery service out of a previous store in Retford and at the same time we also did a refit to give it a fresh look. We also recruited a lot of colleagues throughout the first lockdown, who otherwise would have either been made redundant or on furlough, and it felt really good to support the local community.    

How does managing this store differ from managing other ones? The process is generally similar in every store. Ultimately the key is customer service and great availability. This store also takes a lot of money and the square footage is quite small for the money it takes, so it’s just key that we have the right colleagues in the right areas at the right times to make sure we’re replenishing throughout the day to maintain availability into the evening. That can be a challenge in this store because of the layout – it hasn’t got a centre aisle, it’s just got long aisles so it can be difficult to replenish when the shop’s busy.

What are your top priorities? The key focus for the team and me is to ensure customers can have a great Christmas. Another priority for me is getting to know the team and ensuring my colleagues also have a great Christmas. We sometimes forget it’s a stressful time – we ask them to do more hours over Christmas, so it’s important we make sure our colleagues have the time they need with their families as well, which is why we will shut on Boxing Day this year.

What is your neighbourhood like? It just feels like quite a big market town – it’s probably the biggest town for quite a few miles around here, so there’s a real mixed demographic from what I can see. We have a lot of elderly customers who have shopped with us for a long time, but we are also attracting a lot of young families and young couples.

How do you differentiate yourself from nearby competitors like Lidl and Asda? I think as shopping habits change, we have a big point of difference around our Market Street concept, which is bringing lots of new customers in and is key to keeping and retaining customers. We have the trained fishmongers, butchers and bakers in store. We want shoppers to come in for the special items on the Market Street, but they also need to be able to get other Christmas essentials.

Low & no-alcohol has been on-trend recently. How popular is that section for you? This year the alcohol-free and low-alcohol sections are getting shopped more heavily. A lot of people have focused on health through lockdown, and there’s also the possibility people may be out driving more at Christmas this year because they are able to go and visit other people. Our range has improved as well over the last couple of years alongside the demand, so there’s a lot more options on there, like the alcohol-free prosecco and gins.

How are you managing the new Covid regulations? We’re following all the guidelines the company gave us, and we manage it as best we can in-store in terms of the PPE we provide our colleagues. We’ve still got the screens up around the checkout and we’re still managing social distancing in tight areas.

Have you noticed an increase in footfall and sales that’s larger than usual because of Omicron’s impact on hospitality? No – shopping habits over the last few weeks feel very much like a traditional Christmas shopping period. We’re not seeing a massive increase in other areas over what we would expect.

As a new manager, do you have any future projects in the pipeline? Possibly, but I think at the minute we just need to focus on providing a great Christmas for our customers and colleagues. We’ll trade the next few weeks and absolutely focus on the customer. And then we’ll reset in January and we’ll probably sit down with the team here and decide what we need to do to improve anything. But the team are really great and they’ve done a really good job. It’s them that won this award, not me.