robin ireland sainsbury's bridgwater

Winner: Sainsbury’s The Clink, Bridgwater

Store manager: Robin Ireland

Size: 40,000 sq ft

Opened: 1989

Market share: 23.6%

Nearest rivals: Lidl - 200 yards Aldi - 0.1 miles Asda - 0.3 miles Morrisons - 0.6 miles

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

Congratulations on your performance - what is the secret of your success? Sainsbury’s has been well established in Bridgwater, with the first store opening in the 1970s. We have a number of staff working here who have been with us since this store opened in 1989 and we have a very low turnover of staff in general. They get to know our customers and deliver what they want.

How often do you visit your rivals’ stores? I go into at least one once a fortnight and sometimes all on the same day and I’m confident our standards are as good as any in town. We have introduced a new mystery shopping test that not only checks out our store but all of our competitors locally and that shows that we are doing very well.

So what is new in your store? We had a travel bureau installed last summer and that has proved really popular. There are plans for more investment this year but it’s at an early stage.

Would you like an Argos concession? Who knows - if the deal happens it would be great but there’s not much more to say on that at this stage.

How was the big Mars recall handled in your store? It was really smooth. We had pictures of all the lines involved sent from head office and we were able to take them off shelves very quickly. In the end we only had four of the products so it wasn’t much of a problem and we didn’t have any complaints.

What is your take on Sainsbury’s plan to stop offering multibuy deals? It’s made the store so much easier to shop. With some of the multibuy deals that had been run in the past, even the staff would struggle to work out which was the best deal. It’s had a real improvement in terms of waste both in-store and for customers and has helped us improve availability. When we first introduced it sales didn’t go up but if you now look at categories such as fresh produce there has been an increase in volumes.