Waitrose Caversham SapnaOdlinPhotography

Source: SapnaOdlinPhotography

Wade Lavery was talking to Lilith Foster-Collins

Store manager: Wade Lavery
Store: Waitrose Caversham
Opened: 1984
Size: 16,305 sq ft
Market share: 7.97%
Population: 298,234
Grocery spend: £8,076,535.76
Spend by household: £68.77
Competitors: 71
Nearest rivals: Aldi 0.5 miles, Asda 2.3 miles, Co-op 0.6 miles, Iceland 0.1 miles, Lidl 1.1 miles, M&S 0.6 miles, Morrisons 2.3 miles, Sainsbury’s 0.7 miles, Tesco 0.1 miles, Waitrose 2.0 miles

Source: CACI. For more info visit www.caci.co.uk/contact. 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 www.thegrocer.co.uk/stores/the-grocer-33

How long have you been store manager at Caversham? I’ve been the branch manager for two years now. It’s been great coming in to see the refit and lead the store into Christmas.

You’ve had some refurbishment in store. What has that consisted of? We’ve really invested in the store. We’ve got the latest water-cooled refrigeration system, which is amazing and a move away from the gas configurations. We have all-new low-energy LED lighting. And we’ve also increased our assortment across the store to include more fresh items.

What kind of feedback have you got from customers on the changes? They love the new shop, and enjoy being able to shop from a larger range.

What other changes have you made since you’ve been store manager? We’ve added a night operation to make sure we’re driving availability for our customers when they shop online or first thing in the morning. When we are open in the daytime, we can be completely focused on serving our customers and making sure that’s a calm shopping experience with no cages in the way. This is important because it’s quite a small store and can get congested.

And how has that affected your availability? It’s definitely improved it. We are hitting 96%-97% availability for our online customers’ first pick, and our customer service metrics are going up. Shoppers are telling us they can get everything they want when they shop.

Tell us a bit about the area and your customers: Caversham is attached to Reading, but our customer base are very local to Caversham. The store has been here for 40 years now. We’ve got customers who want quick convenience, so they might be buying into our new Japanese range or our new party food range. But we also get customers who cook from scratch.

How do you cater to those two different shopping styles? The way our shop is laid out is very convenient. You first come in and you’ve got your fruit & veg. Then you’ve got your new Christmas party range leading into your ready meals, pizza range. But then as you go across the shop, you’ve got all your raw eggs and ingredients. We also have recipe cards at the front of the store.

Tell me about your festive party range? We launched our range a couple of weeks ago with a three for the price of two offer. We have a bigger assortment, lots of new lines.

Which are your favourite products from the seasonal range? We do these camembert cheese bites, which are very nice. I do like the beef Yorkshire pudding, it’s beautiful. I tried some of the new lines last week – we did them in the dining room for all the partners to try, which went down well.

How busy has this week been? It’s really busy now and it’s a real buzz as well. There’s that festive happy feeling on the shop floor.

What else are you proud of in store? We do a lot for charity. We have £4,000 set aside for local charities and that’s for a range of causes. Recently we funded a local school to help them run their sports day. We also donated food to a homelessness charity nearby for their Christmas dinner, and donated a Christmas tree. It’s really nice to feed back into the local community.