Winner: Waitrose Bath
Store manager: Nigel Huxley
Size: 40,000 sq ft
Market share: 13.2%
Iceland - 0.3 miles
Sainsbury’s - 0.4 miles
Morrisons - 0.6 miles
Store data source: Analysis by CACI. Call the market planning group on 020 7602 6000
What sets your store apart? This branch is quirky because it is on two levels and has escalators. Our footfall is enormous - the second-busiest in the network. The upstairs features our café, toilets, back-of-house space and Bath and North Somerset public library. We are one of only five or six Waitroses that operate a Waitrose Food & Home model.
Have you introduced anything new recently? All our sandwiches and snacking ranges were rebranded and relaunched a couple of weeks ago as part of Waitrose’s front of store programme. The range has been reinvigorated, new lines added and all packaging refreshed with more funky labelling. It is important because at lunchtime our branch becomes like a convenience operation.
Have you been up to anything else? In November we reinvigorated the store, putting more tills in, more self-service scanning, a new salad bar, new promotional stands, new welcome desks and external horticulture. We’ve also introduced dry cleaning - a concession with Johnsons. We are routinely in the top 10 across Waitrose for the number of customers using dry cleaning.
You have a lot of rivals close by - how do you compete? The key for us is the quality and calibre of the partners we have, with good customer service as part of their DNA. I encourage my team to have a mentality of providing great service while we are selling food. Seven of our partners are going on their long leave this year. They get six months sabbatical as a reward on full pay for working 25 years in the branch.
Do you get involved with the local community? I am chairman of the Bath Business Improvement District and a lot of partners do volunteer work, helping the community, working in schools to encourage young children to eat healthily. We do a Grow and Sell scheme, giving away seed boxes which the schools grow - then they sell their product in the branch.