Daniel Halderthay was talking to Stephen Jones

Manager: Daniel Halderthay
Store: Morrisons Saltney
Opened: 2010
Size: 33,375 sq ft
Market share: 11.0%
Population: 140,566
Grocery spend: £35,692,53.57
Spend by household: £57.20
Competitors: 40
Nearest rivals: Aldi 1.4 miles, Asda 0.5 miles, Co-op 1.3 miles, Iceland 1.6 miles, Lidl 1.5 miles, M&S 1.7 miles, Morrisons 2.6 miles, Sainsbury’s 1.9 miles, Tesco 1.5 miles, Waitrose 2.5 miles

Source: CACI. For more info visit www.caci.co.uk/contact. 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 www.thegrocer.co.uk/stores/the-grocer-33

Tell us about your career in retail: I first worked at Safeway before it was bought by Morrisons, while doing my GCSEs. I joined Sainsbury’s as a graduate and spent five years there. Then I spent 11 years at Tesco, and moved across to Morrisons in 2018. Pretty much all of my career with Morrisons has been at this store.

How would you describe the store? We’re pretty much a full-concept Morrisons store. So we have a busy café, home delivery service, full Market Street counters, a pharmacy and a pretty big Nutmeg as well. It’s a reasonably sized store that feels nice and spacious. We’re quite unique geography-wise. We’re technically in Wales, but we have a Cheshire postcode. Saltney is a few hundred yards from the English border, and lots of our customers regularly cross it for school or work, or to come to the shop. It also means we’ve got minimum unit pricing on alcohol, and don’t have HFSS restrictions.

How do regulations affect sales? MUP doesn’t impact us as much as I thought it would when it was introduced. You can go over the border, or to the Morrisons in Chester to buy alcohol without those restrictions, but we still get a lot of regular customers who treat us as their local shop. We didn’t really see a decline in sales.

Do you regularly promote HFSS lines throughout the store? A good example is at Christmas, we can put confectionery at the front where customers walk into store. But we don’t go over the top. What’s stocked really changes to make the most of the season. Last week with the hot weather we had displays promoting water and soft drinks.

Our mystery shopper noted that the store seemed understaffed… We have 151 full and part-time colleagues. We operate a twilight replenishment model, so have a morning fill on fresh foods and a twilight fill on ambient. Generally, that means we have a lot of colleagues in and around fresh food and on the shop floor. It may have just been the time they came in.

When was your last refit? The store had a very small refit in 2018 where we re-laid some categories. Funnily enough, when your shopper came they may have noticed some changes to our speciality cheese. The freezer broke down so we had to move them. It was a busy weekend and we wanted to make sure it was still on sale.

There’s a lot said about Morrisons’ high-performance culture under Rami Baitiéh. What’s been the main change at Saltney? We’ve really re-engaged with putting customers at the heart of all of the decisions we’re making. As a team we’ve spent time talking through what our customers want and why they visit the store. It’s really basic stuff, like being able to come into a clear car park, being able to pick up a trolley or basket and being able to get around the aisles.

What’s been some of the feedback from the monthly customer panels? We’re trying to do more for families and we were told the baby changing mat was too hard, so we’ve replaced that. Other than that, it’s been asking us to stock specific lines. We’ve got a brook that runs through the car park that we maintain with the local council. So we’ve also had local councillors and farmers talking about how we can maintain that in a way that helps them.