Rob Wilkinson, Sainsbury’s North Walsham, Norfolk

Rob Wilkinson, Sainsbury’s North Walsham, Norfolk

Winner: Sainsbury’s North Walsham, Norfolk
Store manager: Rob Wilkinson
Opened: 2001
Size: 35,000 sq ft
Market share: 66.4%
Nearest rivals: Tesco - 6.4 miles Morrisons - 8 miles, Asda - 13 miles
Store data source: Analysis by CACI. Call the market planning group on 020 7602 6000

Your store is no stranger to excellent customer service - a baby was born in the store in November last year! Yes, I’ve worked at Sainsbury’s for 30 years and it was certainly my first experience of a baby being delivered in a store! It was quite an experience for the first aiders who assisted the mother.

Your store got full marks both for store standards and shop floor service - how do you encourage this? Every colleague goes through regular training. We also have internal mystery shoppers visiting regularly so we learn from their feedback. I communicate this feedback at monthly colleague briefings.

Have you made any changes to your store recently? In May this year, we finished a major investment programme. We had new fresh counters put in and new
fixtures and fittings added, too. We also widened the aisles and opened up the entrance so the store was easier for customers to navigate.

What has feedback been like from shoppers on the changes? Very, very positive. The counters have been particularly well received. In fact, our bakery counter, which is in the middle of the store, has the highest takings of cream cakes in the company!

You’re only four miles from the coast - do you cater for tourists? We are a seasonally affected store so we do uptrade in the summer. We sell wetsuits and bodyboards, but also uptrade on products like duvets, kettles and cushions for the self-catering and caravan holidaymakers.

Are you all set for the good weather forecast for the next few days? Yes. If we know it’s coming we can plan accordingly. I’m expecting soft fruits and salads to be very popular.

And have strawberries and cream sold well during Wimbledon fortnight? Really well. Our strawberries come from just four miles down the road and are delivered direct to store so road miles are reduced and they get on shelf quicker.

Rob Wilkinson was talking to Beth Phillips