What headaches does running such a large store bring?
The challenges are certainly greater than running a standard-sized store. The secret is to focus on individual departments rather than the store as a whole. The senior team is particularly important here as I rely on them to communicate messages to our 900 staff. This is the third Supercentre I have managed and I find this format more fun and more dynamic.
Is availability harder to manage?
No, but you need more enthusiasm about keeping the shelves fully stocked. It can be a tiring process because the stock is more than twice the size of that of a normal store, but we replenish 24 hours a day. The company has been working hard on availability this year, which is why it was so satisfying to win The Grocer award for best availability.
Is it hard for 900 staff to feel part of the same team?
No. We are a very sociable staff and are always going out to celebrate successes, which helps us feel part of the same team. In our latest We're Listening survey - which measures the attitude of colleagues - we scored 95%, which was a great result.
What's your competition like?
Nearby we have the full set: the rest of the big four plus Waitrose and Lidl. On one hand they are daunted by our size, price position and variety of stock, but on the other hand we are less established than them. You should never underestimate your competition, which is why I visit their stores every week to see what they are up to.
Our data shows Asda to be unsuited to Havant - do you agree?
No. We sell great quantities of Smartprice products here but we also trade well on organics and premium deli goods. Wealthier people also shop at our store because they are enticed by our huge range of general merchandise. We have an entrance to the food hall and a separate entrance for non-food. Because we are synonymous with good value, people end up visiting both departments - and buying a hot tub!