Our winning stores in The Grocer 33 have coped with the toughest of challenges lately, from 500 customers descending in one go (Morrisons Eccles) to shopper numbers doubling because floods closed other stores (Morrisons Rotherham). But how about meeting the expectations of Britain's second-best place to live according to Channel 4's Best and Worst Places to Live 2006 - Horsham in West Sussex? Well, for the Sainsbury's in the market town it doesn't seen to have been a problem. It follows in the wake of the two Morrisons in landing our Top Store award. Store manager Angus Murray says that having the biggest supermarket in town has its advantages. "Horsham shoppers seem to enjoy experimenting with their food and enjoy sampling new ranges so we strive to provide a wide variety of produce," he says. "Wealthier shoppers seem to place most importance on fresh fruit and veg, whereas ready meals are more popular with the less-affluent. Older people largely buy a range of items to cook meals from scratch. Our shoppers are a mixed bunch with high expectations." The only other supermarket in Horsham town centre is a recently refitted Waitrose - the most-suited retailer to the demographic, according to CACI. Tesco, which has a 24-hour superstore just outside Horsham at Broadbridge Heath, just a few minutes away by car, is the third best-suited.

Q&A with Angus Murray Store manager of the week

Do you have problems managing availability for any products? It can be a challenge to maintain strong availability for organic foods simply because there is a limited supply of specific items. We used to have all our organic fresh produce in a single 16ft area and sales were disappointing. But we have now moved organic fruit and vegetables alongside core products so that shoppers will see the organic alternatives as they buy their normal fruit and veg. Sales of organic fresh produce have increased since the reorganisation. What would you like to change about your store? I would like an extra 10,000 sq ft to offer a full Sainsbury's range. Customers are always approaching me asking why we only offer kids' clothing and not adults'. It is a great opportunity because Horsham has a shortage of clothing retailers. But the chances of an expansion are poor because we are surrounded by a car park that is effectively the lungs of the store. We have just introduced a new system, which means our regular shoppers are guaranteed a parking space. Commuters and non-Sainsbury's shoppers had been using the spaces and causing congestion. What role do you play in the community? I belong to Horsham Traders' Guild, which is a group of local businessmen and retailers who meet to discuss ways of improving Horsham's marketing. Horsham prides itself on being a market town and has many independent retailers that need to change their outlook sometimes. For example, I convinced them to open on Sundays by presenting them with facts and figures that showed it's one of my busiest days. I've also advised them on shop security and provided financial backing. My car park draws shoppers into Horsham town centre and away from the large Tesco outside town. People tell me they don't like shopping at Tesco because it's too big and takes too long to get around.



Asda Parkhead, Glasgow

1 - This Asda was a contender for our Top Store of the week, but it was still awaiting delivery of the 5-pack of Peperami when our shopper visited. The staff were helpful and also happy to personally guide our shopper to products around the store. Queues were minimal as 17 of 24 checkouts were open. We visited on 6 July at 9.15am. Our shop lasted one hour and 13 minutes. Time spent at the checkout was three minutes.

morrisons Chorley, Lancashire

1 - This busy Morrisons store had sold out of Wall's Viennetta. There were no packing trolleys blocking the aisles, which were also free of shelf-stackers. However, the staff were friendly and the checkout assistant managed to pack the bags quickly, while maintaining conversation with our shopper. We visited on 6 July at 9.42am. Our shop lasted one hour. Time spent at the checkout was two minutes and 30 seconds.

sainsbury's Horsham, West Sussex

0 - Our champion store this week provided all 33 items on the list in a bright, clean and friendly atmosphere. There were a variety of promotions across the store and the checkout assistant even congratulated our shopper for re-using old carrier bags. Although it was busy, queues were small with 23 of 33 tills open. We visited on 6 July at 1.25pm. Our shop lasted 40 minutes. Time spent at the checkout was three minutes.

somerfield Poynton, Cheshire

0 - This quiet Somerfield had no out-of-stock items, but did not stock the own-label Scotch eggs. The store was clear of packing trolleys and shelf-stackers and the staff were polite and informative when asked for help. Two of the seven tills were operating, which was fine given the volume of traffic. We visited on 6 July at 3.26pm. Our shop lasted 50 minutes. Time spent at the checkout was two minutes and 20 seconds.

tesco Leatherhead, Surrey

2 - Our Tesco shopper had an awful time as almost every aisle had packing trolleys and packs of catering cling film were piled up on the floor in one aisle. When asked the location of an item an assistant waved our shopper in the general direction rather than guiding her. The checkout operator dropped her biscuits and didn't apologise. We visited on 6 July at 10am. Our shop lasted 49 minutes. Time spent at the checkout was six minutes.

waitrose Portishead, Bristol

1 - Our Bristol shopper was impressed by the immaculate aisles and full shelves at this Waitrose store. The staff were happy to check the stockroom for the missing items. The Müller Fruit Corner strawberry yoghurt was out of stock. We visited on 6 July at 10.35am. Our shop lasted 46 minutes. Time spent at the checkout was three minutes.