vanessa haines morrisons penzance

Source: James Butler Photo

Store: Morrisons, Penzance

Store manager: Vanessa Haines

Opened: 2005

Size: 25,000 sq ft

Market share: 21.8%

Nearest rivals: Sainsbury’s – 2.4 miles, Tesco – 2.8 miles, Asda – 5.7 miles, Waitrose – 27.7 miles

Store data source: Analysis by CACI.

Call the market planning group on 020 7602 6000

The store got full marks for standards. How important is that for customers right now? Standards have always been vital to shoppers and the team, but they’ve become one of the most important elements of the store. Customers want to visually see what we’re doing around hygiene and tidiness, so they like the welcome station with hand sanitiser and trolley cleaning equipment. It gives a good first impression.

Service was excellent across the board. How do you keep staff motivated to deliver that? I’m so lucky to have such a fantastic team of friendly and hardworking colleagues, so I feel we need to celebrate a job well done. I get a lot of really positive feedback from customers about great service they have had, which is amazing to receive as a manager. We have a staff notice board and Facebook group where we can mention standout service and I always talk about that in team huddles. I’m so glad the team have got the recognition they deserve for all the extra lengths they have gone to by winning the Grocer 33.

How has your role changed since the Covid-19 outbreak? It’s taken a lot of adapting, but customers tell me they feel safe in the store compared to at some of our competitors’ branches. We have friendly marshalling at the front door and give out free masks to customers who have forgotten theirs. It’s all about a warm welcome and trying to make the whole thing less scary. Head office have been thorough at keeping in touch with us – that way we can change regulations as and when we need to. The company has been very supportive while friends who work for other supermarkets have said they feel in the dark.

Is your click & collect service popular? Yes, it’s doing very well. It’s especially appealing for customers who are self-isolating. The service was added when Covid-19 hit because online deliveries were so popular at other branches. The company saw it was a service our branch would benefit from. It’s so ideal for those still shielding because they can come to the store, have their groceries loaded into their car and be on their way. We’re getting a lot of early-morning pickups from shoppers who may have worked nights or work for the NHS.

How have café sales been since it reopened? Customers are loving having it open again – it offers a space to socialise from a distance for lots of our elderly shoppers. They love traditional meals like fish and chips on a Friday. I’m seeing they’re feeling more confident about eating out now than when it first opened back in the summer. The area has also had a lick of paint while it was closed to give it a fresh new look.

You’ve been working for Morrisons for 15 years. What’s the best thing about working for the company? I’ve been at the Penzance store for all that time before I became manager three years ago, so Morrisons gives you great opportunities to work your way up. I love the team I work with and the community of customers. They are a great bunch and make my job very easy.