Waitrose's Marlow branch was just about to undergo a significant refit when we last spoke to manager Alex Hume this week a year ago. Twelve months on, and with the refit successfully completed, Hume views his next big challenge to be the all-important Christmas trading period. He said: "Marlow is a reasonably small store that makes Christmas an even larger challenge, and there is an unbelievable amount of planning required for such an event. We need to ensure we have the right products on the shelves and the right time, as well as the right number of people in all the right places."

The empowerment of his colleagues and a continued focus on customer service will also be top of Hume's priority list.