graeme tough tesco montrose

How was Christmas? A lot of factors contributed to an excellent performance. We put huge effort into making sure we had good availability across our top 300 lines and they were at an all-time high. Another contributing factor was the work done by our distribution teams, which was second to none. We were getting deliveries just when we needed them. I’ve been a store manager for 20 years and this was the most organised operation I’ve ever seen.

How do you balance good availability with not creating food waste? I think we did a good job in getting that balance right. You use the information of sales from previous years to try to minimise waste and we sold an awful lot of our stock, which meant we didn’t have to give much away.

What was the biggest challenge you faced over the festive season? With us being a fairly small store for the amount of customers we get, it’s a challenge to avoid checkout queues. Clearly there are points when the tills come under pressure but I’m proud of the way we coped.

What was the busiest day? I think it was pretty much spread evenly from the Friday to the Sunday. The way the days fell it was one of those Christmases when people were able to do their shopping when they wanted. It was really a case of being extremely busy from 10am to 5.30pm and then not so busy in the evenings.

How did your temporary staff cope with the pressure? We had about 30 temporary staff and they coped very well. It was important to try to make it a lot of fun amid all the pressure so we had things like raffle prizes for our staff going on. There was a great buzz across the store.

What are you looking forward to in 2019? It’s Tesco’s 100th anniversary and though the details have not yet been divulged, I know there is going to be a lot of activity, which I’m sure will include a lot of action of behalf of our colleagues.

Winner: Tesco Western Road, Montrose

Store manager: Graeme Tough

Size: 30,000 sq ft

Opened: 1993

Market share: 29.3%

Nearest rivals: Co-op - 0.2 miles, Lidl - 0.9 miles, Morrisons - 11.2 miles, Asda - 13.7 miles

Store data source: Analysis by CACI. Call the market planning group on 020 7602 600