Alyn Davies was talking to Lilith Foster-Collins

Alyn Davies Sainsburys Cardiff

Source: KateStuartPhotography

Alyn Davies was talking to Lilith Foster-Collins

Store: Sainsbury’s Thornhill
Store manager: Alyn Davies
Opened: 1984
Size: 29,489 sq ft
Market share: 10.27%
Population: 389,939
Grocery spend: £9,640,559.85
Spend by household: £58.74
Competitors: 96
Nearest rivals: Aldi 1.3 miles, Asda 2.2 miles, Co-op 0.7 miles, Iceland 2.1 miles, Lidl 1.2 miles, M&S 0.8 miles, Morrisons 0.9 miles, Sainsbury’s 0.7 miles, Tesco 1.2 miles, Waitrose 2.5 miles

Source: CACI. For more info visit Notes: Shopper profiling is measured using Grocery Acorn shopper segmentation. Store catchment data (market share, population, expenditure, spend by household, competition) is within a five-mile radius.
For CACI’s shopper segmentation of the other stores we visited this week see the online report at

Can you tell me a bit about the store? I’ve been at the Thornhill store for 16 months. It’s a lovely little store just north of Cardiff. The store has a great reputation with the local residents as it’s been here a fair time, and customers keep on coming back.

What’s the competition like in the area? It’s busy. Nothing really on our doorstep, but within a couple of miles we have everything.

What have you been focusing on in store to make it stand out in this competitive environment? We’ve really been focusing on store standards and upskilling colleagues when it comes to customer service. Multiskilling is key: every time we take on new colleagues for a particular role, we make sure they’re trained across the store. Availability is also a priority.

You mentioned availability – in our shop on Sunday afternoon there were some bare shelves and food counters. Why? It could have been a late delivery or supply issues. I’m not aware of any major availability issues for last week, we do have a robust inventory process. If something was out of stock, I’d like to say our colleagues would quickly step in to offer an alternative or advise the customer when it will be in stock next.

There were two out of stocks this week including the blueberries. How do you deal with out of stocks in the fruit and veg section? We have daily deliveries of fruit and vegetables and they give us sufficient stock normally to last the whole day. With blueberries, we carry about three or four different SKUs in different sizes. I’d like to think there was something available for the customer. If not, we’d investigate why there was a gap.

Sainsbury’s has expanded the number of products included in its Nectar Prices membership scheme. Have shoppers noticed the changes? They have. And they feel we are cheaper than the competition in many aspects.

Are you actively trying to sign people up for the card in your store? We are – we have the Nectar packs at the front of the store and colleagues engaging customers as they arrive as well as when they go through the till.

Have you seen an increase in membership since the scheme launched? We’re going up in participation in the store week on week by about 2%-3%. We’re probably running at about 70% participation, which is just digital. When we first started the initiative we were at about 62%. So in the space of six weeks, it has grown considerably.

What do you think of the new Stamford Street value rebrand? It catches your eye when you’re walking down the aisle, and the quality looks excellent. When you read the ingredients, it looks like quality product.

Have you started to see the changes to the value range in your store? We’ve got the Stamford Street available through our store side by side with our other value brand. Some of the old long-life products will still be on the shelf whilst the new ones come in.

Lloyds Pharmacy is closing dozens of its Sainsbury’s chemists this year. Do you think pharmacies are still important for supermarkets to have? A lot of it is done online now and delivered to homes, so I believe a lot of customers are going that way. They’re inclined to order and get it delivered to their house.