Winner: Sainsbury’s, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire
Store manager: Andrew Perkins
Opened: March 2003
Size: 54,000 sq ft
Nearest rivals: Tesco - 1.1 miles, Asda & Morrisons - 2 miles
Market share: 7%
Store data source: Analysis by CACI. Call the market planning group on 020 7602 6000


How long have you worked at this store? I’ve worked for Sainsbury’s for nine months and been in this branch since September. I was with Asda for 15 years before that and worked for Morrisons for 16 years before joining Asda. Sainsbury’s is fantastic for recognising success - the whole company is geared towards everybody wanting you to do a good job.

How has the store changed since you’ve been in charge? The whole top team has changed as quite a few managers have left and gone on to new stores. We’ve brought in new up-and-coming managers, which lets us put our own slant on things.

What do you do differently from your rivals? We’re very customer focused and listen to what they say. One of the things we did over Christmas was to not clutter the floor with Christmas stock. This helped customers move around the store more easily and pass through the checkouts nicely.

Why is Sainsbury’s performing so well in terms of customer service? It’s our highest focus area everything we do has a customer slant to it. I think we do a good job of not overcomplicating retail. Customers appreciate the way the stores are laid out - easy to shop, simple point of sale, very clear offers. Brand Match works very well for us. At our store we also conduct customer listening groups, talk to customers, and carry out daily customer service observations.

So does your branch have any stand-out examples of good customer service? Last week, an autistic customer wrote into head office praising the fantastic service he had received from one of our meat counter colleagues, who had suggested wine and salad options to accompany a fish dish. The employee then received a letter of praise from Justin King.

How do you think Sainsbury’s will perform, trading-wise, over the coming year? I think we will outperform the competition. There are still tough times ahead, but I am confident.