Winner: Waitrose Dorking
Store manager: Alan Johnson
Opened: October 2014
Size: 24,000 sq ft
Market share: 20.2%
Sainsbury’s - 0.1 miles
Lidl - 0.2 miles
Tesco - 5.6 miles
Morrisons - 5.6 miles
Store data source: Analysis by CACI. Call the market planning group on 020 7602 6000
How are you settling into your new store? We traded here in South Street for 52 years in a 9,000 sq ft store and relocated to a different site in the High Street for about 18 months while a new store was built and further extended to 24,000 sq ft. The layout is fantastic, with a juice bar, our new bakery concept, café and plenty of areas to sit and eat. It’s a talking point around the town.
What work do you do on customer service? We are very lucky in that the partners are co-owners in the branch. They are engaged with the business ideal, which is to really differentiate customer service, and we are able to do that through our brand new welcome desk and the various new concepts around the stores. Customers know it is the customer service that makes us different.
How is trade gearing up for the Easter weekend? Waitrose branches are running an Easter Hunt. Customers complete a questionnaire involving an Easter Hunt around the branch and get entered for a prize draw to win Easter eggs. We’ve got a fantastic Easter range, particularly our own-label Easter eggs. Being a new branch, we rely on central teams gauging demand based on other branches. I’m confident we’ve got the right stock levels this year.
You have a Lidl nearby. How do you ensure shoppers keep coming to you? We focus on trying to give customers the best possible offer through service and improving availability and maximising store layout. We provide the best possible offer we can.
What qualities does a good supermarket need? The essential ingredient is customer service, and we try to treat customers as though they are guests in our home and try to make them feel valued and can get everything they want in the manner they expect from a supermarket. We try to add some real theatre to the shopping environment.