In the last issue I asked if anyone knew what the average footfall and the average number of deliveries per day were for Tesco Express in order to help a group campaigning to keep the multiple out of their bit of Leicester.

This prompted an insightful conversation with someone who had worked for decades for the group, including running several Tesco Express branches. We’ll call him Mike from the Shires. (Actually I think of him as My Mole Mike.)

In his experience sales turnover ranged from £30K to £100K a week, depending on location. The transactions level per week ranged between 7,000 and 12,000, so an average of 10,000, again depending upon location.

Interestingly, he observed, over the last couple of years, because of the saturation situation, Tesco Express branches were sometimes impacting on each other rather than just the indies. (It’s what in grocery brand launch terminology is known as ‘cannibalisation’.)

Opening hours for the general model is 6am to 11pm although local councils may impose fewer hours in some situations. (And Tesco is known to have ‘funding’ available for local projects which is used to sweeten up councils.)

“But the one factor that concerns most councils is noise,” he says. “Refrigerated lorries can be very noisy, so there is generally a curfew on delivery hours. Tesco tries to be very much about ‘just-in-time’ deliveries but has had to try out several sorts of ways to achieve this.”

Generally there will, on average, be one main delivery a day plus the daily drops for bread and milk and other direct drop supplies, adding up to three to five deliveries per day. The window for these deliveries is usually between 7am and noon.

And here’s an update on the Leicester campaign: they had their planning committee meeting mid-May and got a fairly good result. The committee voted to reject Tesco’s applications for a cash machine, a chiller unit and an air conditioning condenser, which hamstrings its store plans. “Tesco will probably appeal but we’ll fight on,” says the spokesman. “Tesco certainly wasn’t expecting councillors to turn down the crucial applications, against the advice of planning officers.”