Morrisons Tynemouth Eye of the Tyne Photography (2)

Source: Eye of the Tyne Photography

Simon Routledge was talking to Lilith Foster-Collins

Store: Morrisons Tynemouth
Store manager: Simon Routledge
Opened: 1993
Size: 41,429 sq ft
Market share: 13.1%
Population: 350,015
Grocery spend: £8,458,772.48
Spend by household: £52.55
Competitors: 59
Nearest rivals: Aldi 0.7 miles, Asda 1.1 miles, Co-op 0.6 miles, Iceland 1.0 miles, Lidl 2.4 miles, M&S 1.7 miles, Morrisons 1.2 miles, Sainsbury’s 0.8 miles, Tesco 0.7 miles, Waitrose 6.2 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

When did you join Morrisons Tynemouth? I’m relatively new to Morrisons, I’ve been with the company 14 months. I actually joined from one of the discount retailers in an area position.

What differences are there going from a discounter into Morrisons? I think they’re very similar. There are procedural differences, but in both positions we are here to make sure customers can get a great value shop and great service.

How has your first year at Morrisons gone? It’s been an absolute whirlwind, to be honest. I’ve had to get my head around new policies and procedures, but I’ve absolutely loved it. I’ve got a great team, really supportive, and some really long-serving managers and colleagues who have been here for 30 years since the store opened. It’s been a real high to end the first 12 months by winning the Grocer 33.

What are your plans for the rest of the year? It’s Christmas preparation time already. I have to make sure our volumes and staffing levels are in place to ensure we can deliver a great Christmas through that spike that’s set to come.

What preparations are you making for Christmas? Last year I really didn’t anticipate how busy it was going to be at Christmas, which is why I’m recruiting Christmas temps in September. I want to get them inducted and ready, and they’ll be in store from October. Customers are shopping early – that was something I took away from last year. And then it’s booze, booze, booze. Being a store with a lot of premium focus, we love a fizz. Tynemouth cannot get enough of it. It’s prosecco all the way.

What’s the area like in Tynemouth? It’s a really vibrant area. It’s definitely an affluent demographic, very trendy, but we are also on a busy road network so there’s a mix within the immediate vicinity in terms of demographic. It’s a busy store.

What are your customers like? I see an even split between people being quite savvy with their shopping habits and coming in for the offers, and also people who are very loyal to our premium brand as well.

What are the challenges with running a busier store? Being a busy store does bring its own challenges during the peak times of the day. So it’s really important we keep service and staffing levels consistent to ensure we can meet that. We also have a food-to-go offering, which includes one of the Market Kitchen concepts. It’s street food-style, which is definitely one of our points of difference.

Can you tell me a bit about that? It’s something slightly different to complement our café. One of the things we sell is pizza by the metre, that’s a really exciting concept – you can order a metre of pizza with toppings of your choice. It gets really busy and is definitely really popular. And from a cost point of view, it’s cheaper than a takeaway but at premium takeaway quality.

This week was a lunchbox-themed basket. What’s a favourite lunch product for you? I’ve got a real sweet tooth. Our in-store-produced brownies are absolutely incredible, especially the cornflake ones. They’re really indulgent and great value, and you get a hundred points extra if you buy them at the moment. We sell a lot of those.