Waitrose Harrogate Manager: Steven Cartwright

Source: Amanda Manby

Store: Waitrose Harrogate
Manager: Steven Cartwright
Opened: July 2004
Size: 19,980 sq ft
Market share: 15%
Population: 103,336
Grocery spend: £2,660,768
Spend by household: £57.72
Competitors: 30

Nearest rivals: Aldi 1.5 miles, Asda 0.4 miles, Co-op 0.6 miles, Iceland 12.3 miles, Lidl 3.6 miles, M&S 0.3 miles, Morrisons 1.0 miles, Sainsbury’s 0.5 miles, Tesco 0.3 miles, Waitrose 8.8 miles

Source: CACI. For more info visit www.caci.co.uk/contact. Notes: Shopper profiling is measured using Grocery Acorn shopper segmentation. Store catchment data (market share, population, expenditure, spend by household, competition) is within a five-mile radius.

For CACI’s shopper segmentation of the other stores we visited this week see our service and availability report

How long have you worked for Waitrose? I joined in 2014 – I’ve only been at Harrogate for three months. I’ve really enjoyed my time here, the team are fantastic. They’re very welcoming, very established and they pride themselves on offering great service and taking real ownership of their shop. It’s been a joy to be here.

Do you find the stores different in terms of what they are like to manage? I’d say all shops have their own unique character, built upon the partners that work there and the customers that shop there. No two branches are alike, from my experience.

Proudest moment from your career? How my teams managed in the branches I was working in through the pandemic. It was under quite unique circumstances: partners were worried, customers were worried. And we all pitched in together and did our best to keep each other safe.

What are the key challenges you’re facing? The thing we are stepping into at Harrogate at the moment is making sure partners are being looked after through the cost of living crisis. We’re making sure we’re doing our best to satisfy every customer that comes through the door, promoting our value ranges whilst at the same time making sure we’ve still got our higher-tier products. We’re looking after our partners by offering free food in our dining rooms, and each Waitrose partner will get a £500 bonus this winter to help with the cost of living crisis.

How do you handle availability at the store? What is in our control is to make sure we keep an accurate stockpile, and respond to increases in demand by doing our best to drive extra stocking. We also make sure all of our partners understand the importance of availability for our customers and know how to drive extra stockings should we need it.

How do you prioritise customer service in your stores? As a brand we pride ourselves on our service standards, not just in Harrogate but right across the John Lewis Partnership. It’s something that’s instilled everywhere I have worked. As a manager, I encourage myself and my team to lead by example while offering the best service we can in every circumstance. I reward and celebrate great service when I see it from my partners, and make sure that if we can, no great service goes unnoticed or unrewarded. It’s about getting the team to take pride in their service and realising that being a partner in Waitrose Harrogate means something, and we’ll do our best to deliver great customer service every time.

What categories are you particularly pushing at the moment? The big push we’ve got currently is our new Cooks Ingredients range, which we are promoting at the front of our store as well as in aisle. The feedback from customers has been really overwhelming – they love the products. The items have little QR codes on so customers can scan them on their smart devices and find recipe ideas and learn more about the products. Customers responded really well to that. We’ve also got a push coming with Essentials pretty soon. I’m currently pushing Duchy Organics as well – we’ve got some promotions on organic products throughout the shop.