I understand you only started working at this branch four weeks ago. That’s right. I’ve been with Waitrose for about eight years and I’m currently on secondment here. The Sheffield store is bigger than my home branch in Nottingham, with more partners.
Waitrose’s store revamp programme is underway. Is your store getting a makeover? We are due to look at some areas in the next year such as the coffee shop. We’re also looking at giving the food offer a revamp.
Winner: Waitrose Ecclesall Road, Sheffield
Deputy manager: Charlotte Stanton
Size: 38,000 sq ft
Market share: 8.3%
Sainsbury’s - 0.1 miles
Aldi - 0.1 miles
Tesco - 0.4 miles
Iceland - 0.4 miles
Store data source: Analysis by CACI. Call the market planning group on 020 7602 6000
There has also been a rapid rollout of sushi bars… I would love to see a sushi bar in our branch. We are quite a ‘food for now’ store anyway and we have a peak trade around lunchtime for sandwiches and ready meals, and that’s something we really pride ourselves on. So convenience initiatives such as a sushi kitchen would be really great, especially as we’re pretty much in the city centre.
You have plenty of competition nearby. How do you keep ahead of the game? When you’re in an area where your competitors are literally on your doorstep, it’s about making your store the most compelling place to shop. We’re very keen on availability to ensure our customers can buy everything they need without having to go elsewhere and we make sure they get that high standard of customer service.
You got full marks on availability. What’s your secret? It’s all down to our partners, really. We have daily availability meetings when we get together as a team and look at our availability and partners really see that as part of their role. We’re really keen on stock management and making sure we have 100% availability. You can lose customers more from poor availability than from poor service, so it’s important.
Are there any lines doing particularly well at the moment? There was a big relaunch of Essential Waitrose in September. It gives shoppers another really compelling reason to come in. It’s about reacting to the market and making our products affordable and good quality.
Are there any new products in store? We have some new Waitrose 1 desserts that we’ve had really good feedback on. There’s a frangipane tart that’s amazing. The Waitrose 1 brand as a whole is performing well in our store, customers have been really enthusiastic about it.