waitrose preston cath harrison

You must be particularly pleased with the store’s performance given you have been on holiday. It’s great to know things run smoothly even when I’m not there. Employees know what’s expected of them and have the confidence to do it and the freedom to deliver good performance in their own way.

Are partners looking forward to becoming Waitrose food ambassadors? Absolutely - our partners are so passionate about service and products, and there’s a real buzz forming around becoming food ambassadors. These new roles will mean staff are present around the store at busier times of the week to help customers make healthier choices and set the tone for top-notch service as soon as they enter the store.

How is Waitrose’s ongoing range review affecting the store? There have been some massive changes in our bread offer, with more space created for popular own-brand lines such as seeded loaves, and thanks to the removal of duplicate lines, our cheese counter now has the space for more seasonal items. In our offer more widely, vegan and vegetarian products are doing very well.

How does the store tackle food waste? Our store is taking part in Waitrose’s FareShare FoodCloud programme. This app informs local charities of surplus food available for collection. The team are really on-board with environmental matters like this.

You’ve been with Waitrose for 12 years. What is it that has kept you in the business? I joined as a trainee branch manager and I love the environment. Waitrose fits with my own ethics and values, and I love how it does business.

How did the store manage customers’ expectations during the CO2 shortages? The majority of customers were aware of the shortage, but we tried to keep them aware of what was happening and offer them as many alternative products as possible until it was rectified.

Winner: Waitrose Preston

Store manager: Cath Harrison

Opened: 2012

Size: 30,000 sq ft

Market share: 5.9%

Nearest rivals: Lidl - 1.3 miles, Morrisons - 1.5 miles, Sainsbury’s - 1.9 miles, Aldi - 2.1 miles

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