Sainsbury's Preston

How do you get the best out of your team? Communication is key. We make sure the department managers are informed of everything and that they inform colleagues so we are all working towards the same goal.

Despite the snow you got full marks for availability. How? A very good distribution network because clearly there have been challenges with regard to the weather recently. It’s about having the right people in the right place, and as long as we get the gear into the store we can get it on the shelves.

Winner: Sainsbury’s Preston

Store manager: Stuart Butters

Opened: 1991

Size: 49,500 sq ft

Market share: 13.3%

Nearest rivals: Aldi - 0.6 miles

Morrisons - 0.8 miles

Lidl - 1.5 miles

Asda - 1.5 miles

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

How did the store cope with the Beast from the East? We were lucky. If you went down towards Manchester and Blackburn it was really bad, and up towards Cumbria, but around Preston it didn’t impact us too badly. We had a couple of online deliveries that went out to Blackburn that got stuck in the snow but they got sorted out and the customers got their shopping. My colleagues were able to get into work. A few customers bought extra bread and milk. We could see people were stocking up on the essentials just in case, not necessarily for the weather they were seeing at the time but what potentially they could see coming down the line, and we had some issues with some of our bought-in bread deliveries, but we’ve got an in-store bakery so we simply produced more.

What are you doing to reduce plastic and food waste? None of our food goes in the bins. It all goes back to the depot and is used in anaerobic digestion or we give what we can to our charity partners if edible. With plastic, we are going to have to look at what we do as an industry. I don’t think it’s a quick fix.

If you had a magic wand, what would you wish for in your store? When I arrived at this store just over a year ago, I was wishing we could get more customers in and we’ve now had an Argos put in, a Specsavers, an Explore Learning, a dentist and a pharmacy. Wish granted.

What is the most impressive thing one of your team has done for a customer? A customer came in a bit stressed a couple of days ago. He was running late for a party because of the snow and had a huge list that was going to take him hours. A colleague sat him down in the café, told him not to worry, and rustled up a couple of colleagues who got the shopping for him.