Tesco Bracknell Robert Gardner

Source: Sarah West Photography

Winner: Tesco Superstore Bracknell

Duty manager: Robert Gardner

Opened: July 1988

Size: 28,319 sq ft

Market share: 12%

Population: 192,236

Grocery spend: £5,286,671

Spend by household: £68

Nearest rivals: Aldi 1.6 miles, Asda 8.0 miles, Co-op 1.4 miles, Iceland 7.8 miles, Lidl 3.9 miles, M&S 1.1 miles, Morrisons 1.4 miles, Sainsbury’s 1.2 miles, Tesco 0.7 miles, Waitrose 1.0 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 our service & availability report.


Tell us about your history with Tesco. I’ve worked for Tesco for 27 years. I’ve been a store manager for 16 years and I’ve been at Bracknell for just over a year.

How was Christmas trading? We had a fantastic Christmas. Obviously this year we had more customers in the shop as there were fewer restrictions. In store, we saw people switching to more upmarket lines and more Finest ranges.

Did you experience higher footfall on any specific day? We saw people shopping earlier for some of our bulk items, maybe based on worrying about what availability would look like in store, but we found it to be a very normal trading pattern in terms of the busiest days. Because we opened all of our checkouts through that Christmas week, our customers were able to get through easily with few queues.

What role did online play over the period? Since the start of the pandemic, we have had a huge increase in our online operation. We had a very good online performance this year. The Omicron surge put a few more people into dotcom, and we exceeded our expectations for dotcom this year. We’re at full strength with our online capacity at the moment.

Our shopper noted there was great availability in store. How have you managed to rebound so quickly? The business itself has been excellent in bringing in more stock and making sure we’ve got good safety settings in place. We’re carrying more back stock than we would normally do this time of year, and in store we’ve been able to get back to our routines very quickly after Christmas.

Do you still have any prominent gaps? Yes, we still have a few pockets of poor availability that are nationwide – crisps, tissues and olive oils – but generally we are in a in a very strong place to serve our customers.

Our shopper also noticed very few shop floor staff. Is this a result of Omicron staff shortages? The shop took place earlier in the day, and the majority of our colleagues on the shop floor come in later. In terms of Omicron, we have seen an impact with colleague absence, but it hasn’t been as bad as earlier in the pandemic.

Have you retained any temporary seasonal staff? Yes, we’ve extended their temporary contracts and that’s helped us get through the impact of the Omicron variant.

Tell us about your neighbourhood and your shopper demographic. It’s a mid-market shop, however there are some clear pockets of upmarket overlay as we extend into Bracknell, Reading and Wokingham. On other side of us we have Ascot, a very wealthy area, and Old Windsor, so we do serve an absolute range of customers and we have to appeal to all of those across the shop.

What’s your point of difference against the Waitrose and M&S nearby? We focus on the basics of retail. It’s about a full and a clean shop and excellent service. You do those three things and your customers keep coming back to you, and that’s what we’ve seen over the last year-and-a-half in our numbers and feedback from customers. We also have our own label range, which caters for our price-sensitive customers, along with Clubcard Prices. Those double mechanics overlaid with our Finest ranges means we can suit everybody.