tesco ipswich mark smaldon

How is Christmas trade going? People are being a bit more frugal and shopping little and often in the run-up, which I think is in line with how shopping trends have gone over the last couple of years. But we’ve got our temporary staff in, the store is looking great and we’re ready to go. Next week we will also start offering the festive five products, which are part of the DNA of Christmas at Tesco.

How many temporary staff have you taken on? We’ve got 55. Some working on checkouts, others in customer services and we’ve got some coming in next week who will be ‘here to help’ colleagues on the shop floor.

How busy is your online operation in the run-up to the big day? We have a nine-van operation and a click & collect pod. Online is maxed out at Christmas and there’s a lot more pressure at this time of year but we expected that. People have cottoned on to the fact that it’s easier to shop online to avoid the hectic shopping experienced over Christmas.

Tesco has doubled its vegan range for Christmas. How big has that become? It’s much more popular and there is a lot more choice in store now for people who want a vegetarian option. I live with two vegetarians so I can see for myself how popular the trend has become.

Do you think trade has been affected by the uncertainty over Brexit? What I sense is that customers are sick to the back teeth of it. People are hacked off listening to the news. Many of them don’t understand it and it’s causing a lot of uncertainty. People don’t want to spend a lot of money as they don’t know what’s going to happen.

What do you make of the Tesco Christmas ads? They are really good. They are all about families and the different ways they enjoy Christmas. I also think it fits with the sort of advertising we’ve had all year round, which is all about families and cooking from scratch, so there is a good continuity of message.

Winner: Tesco Copdock Interchange, Ipswich

Store manager: Mark Smaldon

Opened: 1998

Size: 60,000 sq ft

Market share: 15.0%

Nearest rivals: Aldi - 0.7 miles, Lidl - 2.3 miles, Sainsbury’s - 2.3 miles, Asda - 2.7 miles

Store data source: Analysis by CACI. Call the market planning group on 020 7602 6000