Michael Turner Tesco Hookwood Horley

Source: Visions Photography

Winner: Tesco Hookwood, Horley

Store manager: Michael Turner

Size: 87,000 sq ft

Opened: 1986

Market share: 25%

Nearest rivals: Waitrose – 1.2 miles, Asda – 5.3 miles, Morrisons – 5.4 miles, Sainsbury’s – 6.8 miles

Store data source: Analysis by CACI.

Call the market planning group on 020 7602 6000

Standards were high when our mystery shopper visited. What additional safety measures have you introduced since the pandemic began? We’ve really upped the ante when it comes to the steps we take to keep the store clean and safe for customers over the past 12 months. Safety comes above all else now. We always have a marshal at the front door, make good use of our traffic light entry system to monitor customer numbers, consistently offer shoppers hand sanitiser and clean high-touch points as much as possible, including tills and shelves.

How did Mother’s Day go and how are Easter sales going so far? Mother’s Day was a phenomenal success this year. Customers chose to buy a lot more upmarket items, including sparkling wine and flowers, and we sold more lines overall than expected. Many bought presents to drop off to their mums rather than spending time with them, so they purchased more expensive lines to treat their loved ones. We saw the same pattern of shoppers buying into more luxury lines for Valentine’s Day as well, so I reckon that pattern will continue for Easter.

How do you anticipate the reopening of non-essential retail next month will impact sales? I don’t think we’ll suffer a massive dip because of the great range of clothing and GM items we offer, and the fact customers’ trust in us for categories outside of grocery has really grown over the past year. Shoppers really like the variety of own-brand stock we have. We’re very lucky our range is so vast because of our massive size as it means shoppers don’t have to go anywhere else to get what they need. This store is also one of the five stores trialling stocking a range of AO electricals. That concession hasn’t been open a great deal over the past six months since its launch, but I expect it’ll be very popular when it can operate again.

How have you kept up with increasing demand for online shopping? Our click & collect service has become even more popular with customers throughout the Covid-19 outbreak. Sales through the service are up 300% year on year and shoppers really enjoy how easy and convenient it is. We’ve worked hard to extend our collection times and number of slots to reach as many customers as possible and the team has expanded by around 40 people to help with the extra workload. A lot of customers tell me they find the click & collect team very helpful and friendly, so I think the growth will only continue.

How do you reward standout customer service? It is all about employees treating customers as they’d wish to be treated. Every customer who comes through our doors needs to feel good, as that keeps them coming back and great service needs to be recognised each time I encounter it because it makes the employee want to do it again and encourages others to follow suit. Rewards could include something small that can really go a long way, such as thank-you cards or gifts.