How do footfall patterns vary in a tourist resort like Weston-superMare?
We see a significant uplift in sales during the summer of about 10%. Because of the large number of caravan parks and campsites in the area, we sell a lot of complementary products such as barbeques and garden furniture.
Does staffing become an issue during busy periods?
It's definitely a challenge to get staffing levels right in store. We employ a lot of part-time and seasonal workers and always try to have a full checkout line every Friday and Saturday. We also throw a lot of weight behind promotions when the sun comes out.
How much freedom do you have to implement your own strategies in store?
A lot of things we do feed down from head office but within that framework there's flexibility to incorporate your own ideas. For example I've decided to significantly increase our range of Polish products and have also pushed to extend the gluten-free range.
What would you change about your store?
I'd like to have more car parking space. Currently we only have room for about 450 cars.
Is your store becoming more environmentally friendly?
We're certainly doing our bit. We've removed free carrier bags from checkouts eight weeks ahead of the company's target and the feedback from consumers has been very positive. We're also trying to reduce energy wastage and make our overhead lighting more energy-efficient.
Are there are plans in place to expand the store and how active a role will you play?
The possibility of installing a mezzanine floor is being discussed. It would extend our capacity by 20,000 sq ft and allow us to increase our non-food offering. We'll be heavily involved when it comes to deciding what it looks like and which departments move upstairs.