We just finished an extension and renovation in June, which increased our selling area from 21,000 sq ft to 25,000 sq ft. We were already trading very well, but we wanted to bring the store up to full Waitrose standard and offer more of our ranges and services.
What products sell particularly well at this store?
We do very well in wine. We are the top wine store at Waitrose, in terms of percentage share of trade. Our two fantastic wine specialists here, Dennis Barber and Steve Royce, share a great deal of the credit for this. We also do well on fruits and vegetables. We stock a lot of locally sourced fresh produce. This is farm country, so people appreciate the quality and want to support
the local products.
What competitor in the local area is most challenging for you?
Sainsbury is our most direct competitor locally. The store has worked very hard lately to improve its product ranges, reduce its prices and improve the quality of its service.
What do you think your competitive advantage is against them?
I think customers appreciate the work our partners do and the levels of service they provide. We work a lot on service, including one-to-one training for every new partner who starts here. With the renovations, the clean, easy store layout and the shopping environment are now also an advantage.
Do people use the Quick Check/Quick Pay service. How is it doing?
The Quick Check is a handheld scanner that shoppers can register for and use to scan their products as they go along, and then avoid queues at the end with the Quick Pay service. We have had it for a long time, but more customers are using it lately.
What is next on your agenda?
We don't have any new initiatives planned right now. We are looking forward to our first holiday season in our new store and working to make that a successful one.