rob eaton sainsburys matlock

Source: Peter Nutkins Photography

Winner: Sainsbury’s Matlock

Store manager: Rob Eaton

Opened: 2007

Size: 30,000 sq ft

Market share: 44.1%

Nearest rivals: Co-op – 0.8 miles, Iceland – 0.9 miles, Morrisons – 1.2 miles, Tesco – 9.2 miles

Store data source: Analysis by CACI.

Call the market planning group on 020 7602 6000

How do you maintain such strong availability? This comes down to the team working tirelessly to follow the system Sainsbury’s has in place. For instance, some team members do a ‘focus on availability walk’ twice a week to ensure we’ve got what we need. This involves scanning the shelf-edge labels of items that are very low in stock, selling very quickly, or out of stock via an app on employees’ personal phone or a Sainsbury’s handset. By scanning these labels and the information being sent to the supply chain team, the store gets the appropriate delivery of products at the appropriate time. The app also provides a 12-week average forecast of sales based on the data we collect. Employees are really engaged with the entire process.

What steps has the store taken to keep staff and customers safe? We’ve spent a lot of time ensuring the store is Covid-19 secure, as customer and colleague safety is my biggest focus. Measures we have introduced include enforcing social distancing, offering hand sanitiser and ensuring everyone wears face masks. The branch has great standards anyway as I’m very particular, but we’ve gone above and beyond to clean everything as much as possible over the last six months. Shoppers constantly tell me they feel safe.

When are the store’s café and food counters opening? The café is reopening next week with all the appropriate safety measures, including additional space between tables and a streamlined menu. It has never offered full hot meals, but it is introducing pizzas and sausage rolls as part of the reopening. It’ll be nice to have a bit of normality back. In terms of counters, we have a bakery, fish and deli counter but they will remain closed for the time being while Sainsbury’s decides what to do with the spaces.

Has drive-thru click & collect been popular? Yes, it’s become part of some customers’ routines since we reintroduced it in March, and it was especially useful for our most vulnerable customers during lockdown. There’s been a small decline in usage, but it is still being used everyday. It is also part of Sainsbury’s push to double its pre-pandemic online capacity by the end of October.

How are Halloween lines selling? Really well – the fun-size style chocolates and sweets are popular, and Halloween costumes were added to the clothing section last weekend. Customers may not be doing traditional trick or treating this year, but plenty have mentioned they’ll be celebrating at home as a family instead. We’re also getting the first load of Christmas products on shelves in the next week or so.

What has customer reaction been to the introduction of Nectar points on Argos products? I’m surprised it’s taken this long to add Argos to the selection of retailers that customers can collect Nectar points from, but the move has gone down really well. It’s something customers have wanted for a while and I feel it makes sense to bring the Sainsbury’s and Argos brands together.