andy meechan sainsburys cobham

Tell us about your career. I started at Sainsbury’s when I was 16 as an A-level student. After my degree I was asked to go on the graduate programme. I was department manager at 27 and store manager at 31. I’ve been at Cobham just over two years.

How’s the commute from Winchester? I have to be efficient. I don’t want to do 12-hour days on top of travelling! I also insist the team don’t do long hours. It’s what you do when you’re at work not how long you spend there.

You must be pleased with the positive feedback on your team. Yes it’s great and two of the colleagues that were mentioned started out as temps last Christmas and are still with us nearly a year on and delivering great service.

How is the switch from night-time replenishment to a 24-hour system working? Sainsbury’s is moving away from relying on night shifts. We’ve tried to do that organically rather than forcing it. So we’ve become less dependent on night shifts and do more during the day-time operation. Now 75% of replenishment takes place during the day, which means we can serve customers at the same time. It’s just adjusting because we no longer have that certainty in the morning that everything has been completed during the night, but it’s now a 24-hour operation. We are really proud of what we have delivered in terms of standards and customer experience while moving so many colleagues away from night shifts

Tell us about the SmartShop system you’re trialling. We were one of the first to get it. We’ve had it for a few weeks. It brings us much more up to date with what customers are expecting. Whether you use the handset or mobile phone app, it’s an easy way to shop. More people are using the handsets at the moment but we expect mobile usage to grow as people become more comfortable with it, and we’re also promoting SmartShop in a premium location at the front of the store.

It’s our green issue. Are you doing anything for the environment? Last week I did a talk at the Women’s Institute on food waste. That all came about when a lady from the WI approached me a year ago and invited me to come in. We’re also trialling a reduction in our lighting. We’re making it 15% less bright at certain times to save on energy consumption and costs. The feedback from customers has been quite positive. Some found it too bright normally and when they heard what we were doing on the Tannoy, they thought it was a great idea.

Winner: Sainsbury’s Bridge Way, Cobham

Manager: Andy Meechan

Opened: 1989

Size: 57,000 sq ft

Market share: 12.1%

Nearest rivals: Co-op - 2.2 miles, Tesco - 2.4 miles, Morrisons - 2.9 miles, Iceland - 3.6 miles

Store data source: Analysis by CACI. Call the market planning group on 020 7602 6000