December 4, 2015
After petrol station, Highbridge Asda boss says new cafe may be next

The boss of Highbridge's Asda supermarket says plans to expand the store with a new mezzanine floor have been put on hold - but a new cafe could still be introduced in the future.

Speaking after the opening of the store's new petrol station this week, manager Gary Lumsden, pictured, said an in-store cafe could be introduced.

He told "A cafe or pharmacy are possible. The second thing that customers ask us for after a petrol station is a cafe. We know they want it but we just don't know at the moment."

He went on to say: "The mezzanine has been out on hold for the moment - that's not happening. The planning permission is there, but we have looked at it from a business model point of view and have decided not to go ahead. We constantly look at development across Asda."

He said the new petrol station has been warmly welcomed by customers. "We have had a lot of local interest. Hopefully it will bring more customers. Residents appreciate cheaper fuel."

Gary added that Asda's decision not to run a Black Friday sale this year in its stores had been a sensible one.

"From the data we've looked at, it shows it was a great decision. From an in-store point of view, customers had got fed up of the chaos. There was a big move online this year with fewer people in stores. Asda was ahead of the curve. We are spreading the deals over Christmas and always giving low prices."

He went on say that Asda had recruited several staff from Burnham's Morrisons store following its closure last Sunday. "It was sad to see Morrisons close - I got close to the customers and the Morrisons team in my short time with them. As a result we launched our free bus service and we also took a few Morrisons staff on. Retail is a tough business and I could see that some of the staff were not going to have a job at Christmas, so the first thing I did when I met them was to inform them of our vacancies."


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