The store has only been open for eight weeks. How has trade been? We have been very busy ever since we opened and we beat our targets for the Christmas period. I think people in the town are excited about the new store.
Was there a store there before? No, there wasn’t a Tesco in Banchory. The only supermarkets nearby were either Morrisons or much smaller Co-op stores. Before this store opened, people from Banchory would have travelled to the outskirts of Aberdeen to get to Asda or Sainsbury’s but now hopefully we will pick up a lot of those customers.
Tell us about the new store. What makes it different? Banchory is a very scenic town and this was a consideration in the planning and design of the store. There were some concerns from residents about what the store would look like but the company has done a fantastic job in keeping with the scenic nature of the area. The building has a wooden timber frame, we have planted more trees around the store and we have a rain harvester, which recycles rain back through our systems.
Did the staff you employed work for Tesco before? About 85% of the staff were completely new to Tesco so we undertook a lot of intensive training with them prior to the store opening.
What was the most challenging thing about opening a new store? We only had a week to fully merchandise the store prior to opening, which was challenging. We were supported by colleagues from nearby stores to ensure we got everything ready in time. Tesco has been competing with Asda on price recently.
Does this worry you with respect to this store? No, not especially. We have got good promotions in-store and with the price of fuel being so expensive at the moment, it is unlikely that people will want to make the drive to Asda as it just wouldn’t make economic sense. Scotland was badly hit by the snow before Christmas.
How did you cope with this? From a personal point of view, it was very difficult for me to get home so I ended up staying in the area for about three weeks so I could get to work. From a store point of view, I think the snow might have benefited us in a funny way. People couldn’t drive the long distances to our rivals and so they came to us instead.
Which lines have been selling well since you opened? The store is in quite an affluent area, so things like our Finest range, cooking ingredients and exotic fruits have been very popular.