craig mccluskie sainsburys fulham wharf

Source: Tucker Images Ltd

Winner: Sainsbury’s Fulham Wharf

Operations manager: Craig McCluskie

Opened: May 2014

Size: 86,000 sq ft

Market share: 5.5%

Nearest rivals: Iceland – 1.3 miles, Lidl – 1.5 miles, Waitrose – 1.5 miles, Aldi – 2.2 miles

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

The manager was away at the Champions League final when we carried out our shop, so it was a great result for you both. It’s an absolutely fantastic achievement that we can deliver such great service and availability to our customers when key individuals aren’t around.

Did you have any specific promotions running around the big match? Boxed beer was roughly £10. The weather was hot so our key focus was around fresh produce and BBQ availability. We sampled our BBQ summer eating range, which went down well, as did our seasonal picnic and summer eating ranges.

What is your customer demographic like and how do you tailor your store to them? We have a slightly more affluent customer with a higher basket spend. We pride ourselves on store standards and try to deliver exceptional service all the time. This comes down from the management team, buying into all of our great staff to make sure they’re feeling warm and welcome every day, ensuring they have the right skills to do their job.

Do you have any famous customers? The cast of Made in Chelsea come in. We have quite a few of the Chelsea football players visit the store as well.

How have you responded to trends like veganism? We’ve just re-laid our ready meals section and grouped our vegan products together in two bays to give it a bit more of an emphasis. We’ve got a number of franchises including Specsavers, a centre of dentistry, a gourmet sushi bar and Argos in the store, which gives convenience back to the customer, which is massively important.

What’s the most useful thing you’ve learnt on your way to becoming an ops manager? Front-end service is a key driver of mine, as is availability, so I try and look at those collectively. Great leadership skills and adaptability are important.