We have finally finished getting the store ready (or as ready as it can ever be!) for the opening of our new neighbour, Aldi, at the end of this month.

We have scrutinised every department and tried to be clever about it. We’re not going head to head with Aldi; instead, we are trying to complement the new store and to really shine in the areas where it will be weaker.

Our new food-to-go kitchen is a big part of that, and we hope to attract many of Aldi’s customers into our store for breakfast and lunch options.

But the way we really can beat Aldi hands down is by going all out on service and in-store theatre and activity, and with that in mind we are planning some great stuff for the festive season.

The Christmas jumpers will be going on, and we are going to do our very own Advent calendar. Every day we will announce a different product on deep-cut promotion for one day only, via our ever-popular Facebook videos.

We will also be giving out samples of lots of festive fare, including the alcoholic kind, and we have again invited our local school choir to come and sing carols outside the store.

This is always a really popular event, with mince pies and mulled wine, and a selection box given out as 
a thank you for each chorister.

Dennis is already booked for four stints as Santa; he is in high demand, although he lives in constant terror of some small child recognising him and losing their faith in Father Christmas!

We will also be buying toys for the children at our local Sure Start scheme, some of whom wouldn’t otherwise be getting much. Busy times ahead, Aldi or no Aldi!