Tesco Extra Chris Vaughan Photography

Source: Chris Vaughan Photography

Alex Boak was talking to Lilith Foster-Collins

Store: Tesco Lincoln
Store manager: Alex Boak
Opened: 2014
Size: 56,000 sq ft
Market share: 21.92%
Population: 155,712
Grocery spend: £4,043,145.32
Spend by household: £61.53
Competitors: 45
Nearest rivals: Aldi 0.1 miles, Asda 0.7 miles, Co-op 0.4 miles, Iceland 0.7 miles, Lidl 0.3 miles, M&S 1.3 miles, Morrisons 2.0 miles, Sainsbury’s 1.6 miles, Tesco 1.2 miles, Waitrose 0.8 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 the online report at www.thegrocer.co.uk/stores/the-grocer-33

How long have you been managing Tesco Lincoln? I’ve worked at Tesco for 25 years and I’ve been a store manager for about 15 of those. I’m originally from Scarborough and worked in a lot of shops around the east coast. I’ve been at Lincoln for eight-and-a-half years. When I moved over, the shop was less than a year old.

How has the store changed during that time? It’s changed dramatically. When the store originally opened, it was our concept store of the future. It had lots of new things in. As time has gone on, it’s become a normal shop, but there have still been changes. Our food counters were recently removed, and this week I’ve gone live with lots of new fridges on the back wall where all the counters were.

Which of these trials stands out? We had future checkouts, which could serve three people at one time. Three customers could put their shopping on a checkout belt and it scanned it all. It knew which lane was which and divided it between customers. It was only in for a year and didn’t get rolled out: we just weren’t ready as a nation to accept three people going through a checkout at the same time.

Can you tell me about some of the eco aspects of your store? About two years ago we got our whole roof covered in solar panels, which is really good to see. All our lights are LED, and we also have a dimming system, so a lot of our lights don’t come on at night. We have a core safety area that stays on, whilst sections like wines and spirits, bakery and clothing aren’t on until 8am, and we also have certain times of the day when we turn them off because it’s bright enough naturally.

What’s new in the store this year? This year the store is trialling a rechargeable battery pack. It will help us use the renewable energy we produce within the store, as opposed to selling it to the grid.

Our shopper mentioned a second-hand book exchange. How does this work? This is something our community champion has set up. People can donate books and it’s like a free library, in a nutshell. If you want to take a book, you put some money in a collection pot. We have a lot of elderly customers and the book exchange is popular with them.

Do you have specific ‘reduced to clear’ areas in store? How have you revamped these? We’ve got a lot of new points of sale to bring it to life and highlight the ‘reduced to clear’ areas with big yellow boxes and a sign above. We treat the fixtures just like any other fixtures, so they need to be clean. Particularly on fresh, we’ve got to really make it presentable and the products looking good because they are too good to waste.

Can you pick out a favourite moment in store this year? Myself and the community champion were invited to Downing Street this year after being nominated by our MP. It was really special to be recognised for championing the business and the community, and looking after our colleagues. I didn’t in a million years think I’d go in that building.

Any funny moments in store recently? A customer did make me laugh today. He said: “I’ve been standing here for 30 minutes!” and I asked if he was OK. He said “you shouldn’t have offers for 70% off clothing because I’ve lost my wife for the last half an hour!”.