Patrick Piercy Tesco Amesbury

Source: Simon Ward Photography

Winner: Tesco Amesbury Distribution Park, Salisbury

Store manager: Patrick Piercy

Opened: November 2010

Size: 30,000 sq ft

Market share: 36%

Nearest rivals: Sainsbury’s – 0.8 miles, Waitrose – 7.1 miles, Asda – 12.4 miles, Morrisons – 15.5 miles

Store data source: Analysis by CACI.

Call the market planning group on 020 7602 6000

How long have you been a store manager at Amesbury? I’ve been a store manager here for about a year and a half. I was here about four weeks before the pandemic hit. As you can imagine, you have to be very agile because things were changing day in, day out. You never really knew what the next policy or procedure from the government was going to be. My team have been absolutely fantastic just powering through, asking questions and challenging where they need to.

How have you kept morale up through the past 18 months? The secret for me is spending as much time on the shop floor with customers and colleagues as I possibly can. In times like this you could lock yourself away in the office, but each colleague has something different going on in their life and you never really know until you spend five minutes with that colleague and talk to them.

Tesco won shoppers’ favourite supermarket in this year’s Grocer Gold Awards. Why do you think customers keep coming back to your store? We’re really happy with the award. I think what we do at Tesco really well is build relationships with customers. I like nothing more than to spend all my time on the shop floor and I know my colleagues like to do the same, just talking and having a laugh with customers, which brings them back time and time again.

Tell us about the seasonal displays and the most popular items in store at the moment. As you walk into the shop you’ll see Halloween as you first come in. Halloween is one of those great events where you can do loads of theatre in the shop. I really enjoy walking past the display and seeing kids playing with the toys. I think this year it’s going to be really big because people didn’t get a chance to celebrate it last year. The same with Christmas – mince pies are selling really well, as are Christmas turkeys. A lot of our Christmas health and beauty, non-food gifting range goes on sale for Monday morning, so that again will be a nice eye-catching display.

What sort of plans do you have in place for potential shortages during Christmas? First of all resource is going to be a big part of it this year, so we’ve been recruiting since September. We have a very strong student base in Amesbury, so we have 20 colleagues that come back from university and are fully trained. We’re looking to take on probably an extra 10 now on top of the 20 students we’ve already got, and we’ve already recruited 15 more. Then there’s the supply chain – at the moment they are sending in some Christmas pushes to make sure we have the stock. On frozen food, GM and grocery lines, beer pallets and Jack Daniels – all that sort of stuff is going to be in the building in the next few weeks rather than being delivered in December. I’m fully confident in our supply chain. We’ve done a great job so far as a business and I can see the levels are really ramping up, which then gives me the confidence to deliver an excellent Christmas.