Winner: Sainsbury’s Burnley

Store manager: Mike O’Hara

Opened: 2001

Size: 40,000 sq

Market share: 22.2%

Nearest rivals:

Asda: 0.3 miles

Tesco: 1.2 miles

Morrisons: 3.4 miles

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


Sainsbury’s reported impressive Christmas trading results last week. Was this reflected in your store? Definitely. We had a hugely successful Christmas. The store achieved like-for-like sales growth of 5%, which is in excess of the company’s results. Plus we’re a non-investment store, which made the result even more impressive. 


What’s a non-investment store? We haven’t had a refi t in the past year, or an extension. I transferred here three months ago from Wigan and that store has just had a 10,000 sq extension and total redecoration, so it’s romping away. Stores like Burnley haven’t had anything new, so to grow sales in such a tough environment is a really credible result. 


And has trading held up in January? The store is more than holding its own with sales about the same as last year. Customers are tightening their belts, but I’m confident the offer we have will lock in our customers for the rest of the year. 


Is Brand Match helping? Brand Match has made a real difference, especially in a town like Burnley because we’ve got some low demographics here. Customers may be tightening their belts, but they’re still after quality and service. 


Your store is right in the town centre. Does that affect shopping habits? My customers are using the car park to do their shopping in the town centre and then finish off their shop with me. This means we have a lot of basket and small trolley trade. I tend to find shoppers come in about twice a week. Once for a small trolley shop and then again later in the week for a top-up basket shop . 


And what’s selling well? Sales of general merchandise and clothing have been faster than food and the Gok Wan range and party wear were big hits over Christmas. 


You’ve got a Tesco quite close to your store. What did you make of last week’s profit warning? Switching data shows that we are winning share from Tesco.


Mike O’Hara was talking to Beth Phillips