Gavin is university educated. He'd originally thought about a possible career in law (although he wasn't sure in what field) but the idea of having to appear aggressive in court put him off. He always says he didn't pick a career in retail - 'it picked him' - and has remained in retail all his working life.
A long-term employee of the company, Gavin is utterly dedicated to all things Valco, from store layout and best practice, to the company's established branded goods and corporate logo. Valco is the be-all and end-all of his life; something that's only cemented when he falls in love with a rival local supermarket manager, only to find her joining ranks and becoming his boss!
A gentleman of the queen's highway, Gavin sometimes worries he can go 'like a bat out of hell' (at least 73mph) when listening to one of his favourite Lighthouse Family tracks.
Katie (Series 1-3 & 5-7)
Pretty, funny, and intelligent. Katie long felt trapped in Warrington, particularly in her lowly role stacking shelves and manning checkouts. But, having found love not once but twice on the supermarket aisles, she's now far more at ease in the Valco fold and assisting Gavin at a senior level in running the store.
Margaret has never ventured out of the UK. In fact, she only ventures out of Warrington once a year - to the same caravan park in Wales (she has never bumped into Bonnie Tyler though in all the years they've been going, despite rumours of a Bonnie sighting).
She has been a 'traditional housewife and mother' all her adult life but now that her sons and daughters have flown the nest, living around various parts of the country, Margaret has felt ready to spread her wings.
Getting the job at Valco as a senior worker is a major move for her. It's opened up a whole new world of opportunities - every day brings something new. She feels a bit guilty for leaving her Alan to cope alone at home but then again, he's becoming a proper little Gordon Ramsay - only without all the effing and jeffing.
Originally placed on the delicatessen counter, she's now at home with Brian at the store's pharmacy.
Brian (Series 4-7)
Brian stands on the frontline of medicine; specifically, dispensing medicine as the in-store pharmacist. He previously worked for Boots, but won't say why he left.
Despite spending years at medical school, Brian maintains that a pharmacist's job is far more important than a doctor's.
Cheryl (Series 5-7)
Kooky Cheryl enters the world of Valco Warrington when she is appointed the first manager of a rival discount chain opening a store directly opposite.
There's an instant chemistry between her and Gavin, but she just can't help getting one over on him, pulling stunts at his and Valco's expense at any opportunity. Eventually, however, love wins through and the pair are now near inseparable.
She's now won a great promotion and joined the Valco family as regional manager - Gavin's boss!
Colin's hobbies include smoking, drinking, getting tattoos and that's about it. Like Lisa, he gets away with doing as little as possible. He can out-gross Lisa any day when he puts his filthy mind to it.
It is quickly clear Colin and Lisa would make the perfect couple, despite apparently loathing each other. After a few years, however, they've become an inseparable item and put on very regular, very public, displays of affection. Sadly for Warrington - if not the world - they've also begun their own family...
Lisa isn't interested in her job. She's crude, rude, feckless, and loathes ... well, everyone.
After initial antagonism, she and fellow store layabout Colin have found a frankly disgusting level of intimacy with each other; something they delight in enlightening their colleagues about every sordid detail of. Neither of the pair has the slightest modicum of decency or personal privacy!
Sue deals with customer enquiries and problems at the supermarket. She is best mates with Linda, despite there being a bit of an age gap between them.
The pair regularly gossip about the other staff and customers, more often than not whilst eating on the job and perusing the celebrity magazines Valco is supposed to be selling!
At the end of Series 2, Sue - and Linda - are shocked and delighted in equal measure to discover that she has fallen pregnant.
Now a mum of four, Sue is part of the furniture at the Warrington branch, doing her best to juggle the demands of parenthood with work gossip.
Linda works with Sue on the customer service desk. They are as unattentive and unhelpful as is humanly possible - although the often bizarre demands of customers don't make it easy to act otherwise.
Linda's quite sweet, but certainly not ladylike and cannot keep a secret to save her life. A long-term hopelessly single woman, she eventually found love - if not exasperation - with Neville. However, the couple have recently split up after 3 years together. What will the future hold?
Neville (Series 2-7)
A divorcee father of two now in his late 40s, Neville once had everything - the job, the house, the family. But he was always one of life's losers, and when he was made redundant he lost it all. His domineering harridan of a wife left him for his best mate, leaving him with nothing, starting his life again on the shop floor.
But Neville's an eternal optimist. Even though everything can and does go wrong for him, he's a thoroughly nice guy, always maintaining a cheery attitude, and the cracks hardly ever show. He tells himself that this new job is ideal for him, as he always hated meetings, foreign trips, posh lunches and the like.
Neville might still be the regular butt of his colleagues' jokes - particularly Colin and the bakers - but after a slow start, he's finding his feet again and even has a girlfriend, the lovely Linda.
Donna (Series 7)
Donna is Valco's new security guard; the complete opposite of predecessor Ian, she takes her job far too seriously - and yet still doesn't manage to do it very well!
Lou (Series 7)
Lou is Gavin's new night manager, whom he is rather hoping will turn the company owner Brendan's new 24-hour opening times concept into a shambles.
Scatty but keen, Lou's an extroverted single mother.
Daniel (Series 4-6)
Daniel Wilson first joined Valco Warrington as Gavin's assistant manager, and Gavin couldn't have been happier: Daniel's the son he never had.
Starting off his career sweeping the warehouse, Daniel has risen through the Valco ranks to become proper management material, and is now based out of the company's head office.
The one bugbear Daniel has is people not doing their jobs properly. This was rather challenged when he fell for extremely dim-witted colleague - and daughter of the company's owner - Charlie. Following her departure, however, he's now found a much more stable love with fellow staff member Katie.
Ian (Series 2-6)
Ian is a big, friendly, hairy, bear-like man and the supermarket's main security guard.
Security is probably not the best job for Ian as he is very trusting, a bit lazy, loves to chat, doesn't judge criminals and sees the good side in everyone.
He shares many passions (action movies, model boats, pub quizzes) with Andy, which leads to them becoming good friends.
Ian turns out to be gay - and married - but doesn't make the slightest issue about it.
Harry (Series 4-7)
Harry, 16, received nine A*s in his GCSEs and is probably (definitely) the brightest person Valco has ever hired.
Far from stretched by his checkout role, Harry kills time honing his sarcasm skills, whilst also nursing a crush on Linda.
Shai (Series 6-7)
Shai is the store's newest recruit. He's nerdy, but seems to have absolutely no common sense, social skill or real-world abilities.
Julie (Series 1-3 & 5)
Julie has a brittle, sometimes harsh exterior - it's an attempt to mask her insecurities. She went into retail after leaving school and has worked at Valco (the St Helens branch and now the Warrington branch) ever since. She's been courted by Morrisons a few times but she's a Valco girl through and through.
Julie was engaged to someone, but he's now known as The Bastard. They bought a show home together on a newly built estate in Warrington. She was dumped by The Bastard eight years ago, who went off with 'The Bitch' from IKEA (now officially a No Go Area). He let Julie keep the show home. Julie has 'slightly' re-written history claiming to everyone that it was a mutual separation. Only her ex-boss, Craig, knows the truth.
Julie fell to pieces in the aftermath of the break up. She went to Ireland for a mini break and ended up having a mini breakdown. This has caused her to mess up in interviews to gain promotion where, when very nervous, she lapses in to Irish (it's like a 'Nam' flashback, except to the Emerald Isle).
When she joined the Warrington branch of Valco, she immediately fell under Gavin's 'dynamic' spell. Coveting Deputy Manager Leanne's job since arriving, she dreamt of becoming the Crystal to Gavin's Blake. After a series of misfires and mishaps, Julie finally gained the promotion she so desired during Series 2.
Julie's life mainly consists of ready-made meals for one whilst watching all the things she's Sky-plussed: anything with Ross Kemp in, ditto Robson Green (to the point of watching Extreme Fishing), Dragon's Den (though insists she could do that Deborah 'trout face' Meadon's job better than her - she never dips her hand in her pocket for any of the inventors), Come Dine With Me, Escape To The Country and The Apprentice (her role model is Karren Brady - Karren's brilliant with figures - and that's with having a brain tumour!).
Julie has left Valco in Series 4.
Andy (Series 1-3)
An only child ("I wasn't lonely though - I had imaginary friends - I was like a hero to them"), and with his parents now dead, Andy lives alone: and that's the way he intends it to stay. No way would he give up his home for a woman - "she'll only start interfering with my record and CD collection" - all in alphabetical order. And that would lead her to touching his pride and joy - the air-fix model of the HMS Ark Royal he's been building the past few years. (From memory - "Did Andy McNab have instructions to read when he was building a makeshift bridge to escape the Afghans? Of course he didn't!")
Andy has his fair share of ladies (mainly barmaids in the pubs where he drinks or plays pub quizzes) but is genuinely happy to be single - much less complicated.
Has had a variety of jobs since leaving school but found his niche when he became a butcher fifteen years ago. Meat is in his veins.
He likes to think of himself as Mr Fun and has already sorted out his funeral - "so that no one plays Whitney bleeding Houston". Funeral music? Anything by Madness but House Of Fun or Baggy Trousers have to be favourites.
He likes Ray Mears (you never know when survival skills will come in handy - even in Warrington High street) and has read all the books of Andy McNab and Chris Ryan (has been to known to claim that he may well be Andy McNab - he couldn't possibly reveal if he is or he isn't).
After a full 15 - nearly 16 - years at Valco, Andy is reunited with an ex, Sarah, the proverbial 'one who got away', and is convinced to take a chance in life for once, moving to Scarborough to be with her.
Kieran (Series 1-3)
Bright, funny, not bad looking, Kieran is a bit aimless. Has no real ambition - as long as he's earning enough to get trollied at the end of the week, he's not arsed.
He's far too nice and easy-going for his own good, equally failing to stand up for himself against Andy and against girlfriend - later wife - Emma. He doesn't like to dwell on things too much, especially when all the signs are there that Emma's not the right girl for him.
Kieran thinks Andy is a pain in the arse at times, but one he's grown to love, in his own way. The one person that makes working at Valco truly bearable is Katie. The one person he should be with is Katie. He just doesn't know it.
Kieran is not in Series 4.
Leighton (Series 1-3)
Impossibly mild-mannered and well-intentioned, but thick as a pig's proverbial, Leighton was the simplest, most gullible and needy of Valco's employees - but quite probably also its nicest and most honest.
Valco was his entire world, life, and pretty much the extent of his dreams and aspirations. It's no exaggeration to say he'd be lost without it. The question therefore remains where is he now - he's not in Series 4.
Charlie (Series 4-5)
Charlotte is the daughter of Brendan O'Connor, the owner of the entire Valco empire, who wants her to learn the business from the ground up.
She's lovely but oblivious to concepts like work and not being minted. Daniel is tasked with showing her the ropes, and the pair hit it off well.
Duncan Trench (Series 6)
Annoyingly upbeat, pushy and arrogant, Duncan is the sales rep for Pleasure Foods who just won't accept no for an answer, and looks set to drive Gavin up the wall.
Holly (Series 6)
Holly is a Valco employee from another store, who immediately hits it off with Daniel.
However, she's got a serious jealous streak and Katie sees a very different side to her apparently sweet nature.
Rose (Series 4)
One of the shop's newest recruits, Rose also happens to be Colin's nan.
Rose only wants the best for her beloved grandson and, awkwardly, that doesn't include Lisa. Don't be fooled by the OAP's sweet exterior - Gavin is absolutely terrified of her.
Richard (Series 3)
Richard France was Valco's new Head of Strategy in Series 3. He was brought in to modernise the chain, and the Warrington branch was his guinea pig.
Young, dynamic, unconventional and somewhat eccentric, France's ideas clashed with Gavin's safe and by-the-book approach. Soon the store became unrecognisable.
It's clear that he was trying to push Gavin out, but Gavin is still at the store and France is now gone.
Anna (Series 3)
Anna was Gavin's exuberant new Spanish girlfriend in Series 3.
Much to Gavin's alarm, she took a job at Valco to be close to him.
It's not just Gavin who wasn't keen to have Anna working at the store - Julie was dismayed about her appointment too.
Ray (Series 3)
Ray was a fishmonger at Valco, obsessed with fish.
Despite his protestations, he was saddled with assistant Dave, following customer feedback that he is "intense, uncomfortable, and f-ing weird".
Oddball Dave soon establishes that, in a world of weirdos, Ray is actually the weirdest of the lot: he cannot throw, cannot catch, has no idea about music, and has only ever seen half of one film - Legally Blonde. He didn't like it.
Slowly, Ray and Dave started to hit it off. Ray had never had a best friend before.
Dave (Series 3)
Dave worked with Ray on the fish counter at the supermarket.
He had absolutely no knowledge nor experience of fish whatsoever. Endlessly enthusiastic, jovial and outgoing, he was the absolute binary opposite of Ray in every manner imaginable.
Lorraine (Series 2)
Lorraine was the new manager of Valco Warrington in Series 2. She was brought in by head office to replace Gavin and to launch the new below economy 'No Nonsense' range.
A cross between Hilary Devey and The Fairy Jobmother, she's a self-confessed "business expert".
In her mid 50s and a mutton dressed as lamb, stuck as the 1980s power-dresser, Lorraine was plain-speaking, brash, occasionally crude and used business speak to prove a point - she knew all because she'd had every job in the world! She pulled herself up by her bootstraps, with help from no one.
Lorraine kept her personal life close to her chest, not believing in friends or family. She was flirty with Kieran and the bakers, but hated Leighton and Andy, and soon turned against Julie too.
Following continued friction with the staff, Lorraine was 'resigned' by Gavin in the middle of the store, leaving in a blaze of verbal fireworks.
Sharon (Series 2)
Head baker Sharon was the person who was always there when you least wanted her to be. Late 30s, 'gobshite', piss taker and prankster - Sharon devoted her time to winding people up all over the store - popping up to laugh at the worst time.
The Pied Piper to a gang of 'dough-rats' - the notorious bakers - she would walk into the room with a 'what's up wankers' greeting.