The Waitrose store in Sandbach, Cheshire, won The Grocer 33 Top Store Award this time last year. At the time, manager Andy Woodcock had run the store for three years, spanning its ownership by first Safeway and then Waitrose.

In October last year Waitrose asked Woodcock to manage the opening of a new store in Wilmslow, Greater Manchester. He returned to Sandbach this May. Woodcock said the Sandback store had performed well in his absence, recording its best-ever Christmas season with sales 20% above normal. Woodcock credited this to increased consumer familiarity with the Waitrose brand and the store's efforts to increase community ties by participating in local food and charity events.