Our wonderful colleague Cris Senior joined our Golborne store in 1973 soon after it first opened – and 47 years later she's still going out of her way to help customers with her friendly service.
Grandmother-of-five Cris worked alongside her children Kenneth, Lorraine and Gary when they were younger, and says the store has such a family feel to it.
She said: "There's something happening all the time and that keeps my brain engaged. We are all one big happy family here – it's amazing. The colleagues here have always been wonderful. I've seen them come and go as they've grown older and gone on to different things. I've seen youngsters come in and go through the ranks to become managers at other stores too. Sometimes they've popped back and said to me, 'My God are you still here?'"
Cris says many of the older regular customers from their close-knit community love being part of the family too.
She said: "With working there all that time I know a lot of our customers. Many of them just come to our store for a little gab. They come in for their morning newspaper or something just to say 'hello'. I can understand that they need that companionship and that's what a lot of them come in for.
"There's been quite a few of us here who have actually taken the shopping lists of some of our elderly customers over the phone in our own time, got it picked and taken it to them. An elderly lady rang me and said she needed some groceries desperately and couldn't make it to the store. So I took the shopping list over the phone and popped in the car when I finished work so she was absolutely over the moon. We are a tight-knit community here."
Cris, who's 73, moved to Golborne from Liverpool with her late husband Ken and children in 1970.
She said: "Asda Golborne had opened in 1972 and when I'd take the children to the local school I used to pop in and say 'excuse me, are they any jobs available today?' I did this every time I passed, and then one time one of the managers was coming down the stairs and said, 'Will you give that woman a job for goodness sake!' And I haven't looked back since. I never thought I'd still be here 47 years years later – but why fix something that's not broken?"
Cris is a previous winner of the store's Colleague of the Year award. She first started on the meat counter before moving to the shop floor. She then went on checkouts before heading to the offices upstairs to do administration.
Cris, who now works two full days a week, spends the rest of her time seeing family and enjoying her many hobbies.
She said: "In my spare time I do a lot of walking to keep fit. I do pilates too and I've a great big garden in the back which keeps me busy and gets me some fresh air. The garden was a godsend during lockdown as were computers and WhatsApp because due to my age I had to shield for the first 12 weeks."
During her 47 years in the store, Cris has seen many changes and improvements.
She said: "One change that I couldn't adapt to at first was when they dropped the way we addressed managers in store. We always used to say Mister Somebody, but then we had to call managers by their first name! It took me a while to get used to it.
"I'm the longest-serving colleague here at Golborne, but there are some who have done 30 years. We just seem to get on so well together. Because you've been working so closely with some people for all that time you can anticipate what they're going to do and say.
Over the years Cris has helped out with many fundraising events, but there's one particular that stands out
She said: "We've done many a walk from Asda Golborne to our Wigan store and we've addressed up for charity. One time I was a scarecrow and I had all the face paint on and hay sticking out of my hair and everything and as I was shaking the collecting bucket walking by the road two ladies walked past and one of them said to her friend, 'My goodness me you would have thought she'd have done something with her hair!' It was so funny."
Store manager Carly Hurst thanked Cris for her remarkable service, saying she's a "real asset to the store."
She said: ‘Cris is a lovely lady who lives the Asda values. She has done many, many roles in her 47 years and tells me stories often. She's a great sense of humour and a great personality. I am proud to have her in our team."