How did you find opening the new store in November? Very exciting. It’s a great experience to open new space, whether it’s a new store or an extension. 

What was there before? There was a Tesco superstore that was less than half the size and a shopping centre that was demolished. The store was built on stilts so there is room for eight concessions downstairs. There’s already a Post Office there and as for the other seven, nothing’s been confirmed. 

How did you recruit staff for the new store? As part of the commitment to Maryhill we held an open day with the Glasgow North regeneration agency. We did a big open session for people to meet us and learn about the company. We then offered two-week placements and gave everyone a job interview at the end of it. Anyone who didn’t get a job offer was given feedback. 

Did you offer extra training for staff who hadn’t worked in retail? A lot of people had worked in heavier industries like construction before. In that environment they work very hard so we had to make sure that same ethic transferred. One of the benefits of this part of Glasgow is that the people are naturally pretty friendly and outgoing, and I’m delighted your shopper found that to be the case.  The store was closed for a year during construction.

How did you win shoppers back? We kept a free shuttle bus running from the site to a store two miles away and kept people up to date on the progress of the new supermarket with signs on the roundabout. When we reopened we had offers on toys and electrical, which were popular. 

How have you measured customer feedback to the store? An independent company carried out a customer question time last week. It reinforced the popularity of some of the offers that we had in such as three-for-£10 meat deals. There were lots of positive things I’m looking to protect.  Demographic information from CACI shows 41% of your shoppers are prosperous and 44% are hardpressed.

How do you cater for this split? Tesco is a very broad church in terms of what we stock and we’re fortunate that we can cater to any taste, from Value through to Finest. 

How were you affected by the snow? We were probably more robust than most stores because lots of people walk to work or to shop. About 200 of our parking spaces are under cover so we focused on keeping the access road clear – that’s the unexpected bonus of being built on stilts!