Winner: Waitrose Bromley South
Store Manager: Andrew Maconachie
Size: 24,000 sq ft
Market share: 8.8%
Iceland - 0.2 miles
Sainsbury’s - 0.6 miles
Lidl - 2.1 miles
Morrisons - 2.5 miles
Store data source: Analysis by CACI. Call the market planning group on 020 7602 6000
How did the January half-price sale go in your store? Really well. It drove up sales and footfall - we definitely got new customers in. We haven’t noticed a significant drop since - but we’re next to a train station and are a decent-sized shop so we always get a lot of shoppers.
Some Waitrose stores had issues with stock levels after the Christmas and new year period. How was it in your store? Stock levels were not really an issue for us - I guess the size of our branch helps. Yes, the half-price sale definitely got people in and volumes went up, but we managed.
Have shoppers complained about the change to the free coffee rules, and did free coffee ever cause a shortage of seats in the café in the past? Our café has always been hugely popular but we haven’t ever had a problem with space. People tend to sit down for a coffee first thing or at lunchtime, not when the shop is at its busiest. Most customers have been fairly positive about the change to the rules. I think that’s because communications before the change were so strong.
How are you finding your new welcome area following your front of store conversion? It’s really lifted the front of store. We got it in October, work took two weeks but it was a relatively simple process as we had a big refurb four years ago. Shoppers come into the store through our external horticultural displays and there are flowers in the foyer. The entrance is decluttered and the customer service desk is the focus. Then shoppers walk into the seasonal displays.
Our shopper praised your Valentine’s Day displays - how do you make an impact with seasonal stands? That is something we have worked hard on for the last six months. We used to have seasonal aisles but now products are at the front of store, we can showcase them and be a bit more artistic. Products tend to sell very well now.