Martin Shaw was talking to Ronan Hegarty

Store manager: Martin Shaw
Store: Morrisons Newark
Opened: 1988
Size: 33,376 sq ft
Market share: 9.8%
Population: 135,302
Grocery spend: £37,927,535
Spend by household: £651.90
Competitors: 35
Nearest rivals: Aldi 0.1 miles, Asda 0.3 miles, Co-op 0.5 miles, Iceland 0.5 miles, Lidl 1.5 miles, M&S 0.1 miles, Morrisons 13.6 miles, Sainsbury’s 2 miles, Tesco 2 miles, Waitrose 0.2 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 the online report at

Tell me about your career in retail? Gosh, I started in retail 35 years ago. I did 18 years at Comet before they unfortunately went the wrong way. I and a number of others from Comet joined Iceland – that was my first foray into grocery and I stayed with Iceland for around 18 months. After that, I did eight years with Aldi, then actually took a role outside grocery. However, I got itchy feet and came back to this sector with Morrisons three months ago.

So you are quite new to the store? Yes, I have only been here for six weeks – but it’s been great so far. I had a brilliant induction at head office and then went into a training store for eight weeks. There has also been a lot of e-learning. It’s not like when I started in retail many years ago. But of course it’s a much more demanding role and you need to be experienced at managing large teams of people. It’s not just about putting stock on shelves, it’s much more complex, but it is very enjoyable and no two days are the same.

Morrisons CEO Rami Baitiéh is also new in the business, how do you think he is doing? Rami has really energised the business, which is great. I know our second quarter results dropped this week and the numbers are good. His real focus on the customer has been phenomenal, and that’s one of the reasons why I joined Morrisons. He has customers at his meetings and every store has to have roundtables with customers. My first one is this week, which I am looking forward to. With every single email or complaint that comes into store, we have to get back in touch with that customer to listen to and resolve any issues they may have had.

How are you improving the customer experience? There is a focus on availability, which is massive, as well as reducing queues at checkouts and getting the right promotions in front of shoppers. We have new tills for kids. If we see a customer in the aisles without a basket, we get one for them. Hopefully this encourages them to buy more and we get to say hello. Really Rami has got everyone pointing in the same direction and that is the experience in-store.

How are the new ‘when it’s gone, it’s gone’ deals working? They are going great. With my experience in Aldi, I have actually put my services forward and I’ve been put on the national committee for these deals, so hopefully I can use that experience to help get the right products into store. Another thing working well are the Diamond lines. Suppliers, customers and colleagues can put forward ideas of products they think will go well. Everyone can nominate a line – I nominated cherry bakewells, as my favourite many years ago was a four-pack of cherry bakewells and now they are coming back, so that’s great news.

You must be delighted that summer has finally arrived? Yes, it’s been great. Sometimes it comes out of nowhere and catches you by surprise, but this time it was properly forecast and we were ready for it. It also coincided with the Euros so we have had lots of great promotions on BWS in particular. You have to get your ordering right. For instance, in just a couple of days you will see a huge switch in the in-store bakery from loaves to cobbs (baps).