Who are your biggest competitors?
Our main one is Tesco which is currently undergoing an extension. There's also an Aldi in Sudbury but our customers are extremely loyal to the Waitrose brand.
Would you like to change anything about the store?
If you'd asked me a couple of weeks ago I'd have said yes, but we've just had it confirmed that we'll be starting a home-delivery service from mid-September. Customers have been asking for it in-store, so it's fantastic news. Once our warehouse extension is complete, they'll be able to order online and have groceries delivered to their door.
Have you noticed a change in shopping habits since the credit crunch bit? We seem to be riding out the recession very well. What we have seen is a switch back to the kitchen, with an uplift in sales of component ingredients such as vegetables, as people cook more meals from scratch. Ready-meal volumes, on the other hand, are fairly static.
Our shopper was particularly impressed with the standard of customer service in-store. Is this something you place great emphasis on?
Absolutely. We have a fantastic bunch of partners at the store who love interacting with our customers. I'm in the middle of a two-day customer service course as we speak. We're always looking for ways to make our service even better.
How does your large non-food offering work for you?
We have quite a large non-food offer compared with other Waitrose stores and sell a lot of cookware, electrical kitchen applicances and gardening equipment.
Would you say your store is environmentally conscious?
It certainly is. We have a special container for recycling mobile phones, which then get shipped to African nations. Our Bag for Life campaign has also been hugely popular with our shoppers.