Waitrose Frimley Adrian Currie

Source: Adam Jefferson

Adrian Currie was talking to Lilith Foster-Collins

Store: Waitrose Frimley
Manager: Adrian Currie
Opened: July 2000
Size: 16,927 sq ft
Market share: 6.6%
Population: 263,431
Grocery spend: £7,405,117.84
Spend by household: £71.88
Competitors: 60

Nearest rivals: Aldi 1.9 miles, Asda 1.7 miles, Co-op 1.4 miles, Iceland 1.7 miles, Lidl 1.6 miles, M&S 1.1 miles, Morrisons 2.5 miles, Sainsbury’s 1.0 miles, Tesco 0.8 miles, Waitrose 3.4 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

Tell us about your career at Waitrose: I’ve worked for Waitrose for 26 years. I joined at the bottom and worked my way up. I’ve been a branch manager now for eight years and love it, and I’ve been at this store since January.

What do you love about your store? What I love about it most is the partners. It’s just like a family. A lot of the team are still original partners, and they care passionately about the branch and the customers.

How has the store changed over the time you’ve been there? The thing that’s changed quite significantly is that the area has grown. There are quite a lot of offices near the store now and it’s not too far from the big hospital in Frimley. What you see is a bigger hit of lunchtime trade as well as our normal regular family shoppers.

How has the store changed to reflect a changing customer base? I think if we look at the last couple of years coming out of the pandemic, people did tend to migrate to online shopping. But we’re seeing that change quite significantly at the moment where customers over the last 10 or 12 months have come back into stores. For me it’s about just making sure everything we do in the store puts customers front and centre. So making sure we have the best availability, making sure we’re really delivering with every interaction, great service and ultimately ensuring those customers like being back and like shopping with us.

What challenges have you had with availability recently, and how have you been dealing with them? The availability issues have been well documented, but I think we don’t have that issue. There’s plenty of stock available for customers and we as a business continue to work closely with our suppliers within the store. Service comes down to a number of things, but availability is always front and centre of any service metric you’re trying to drive. We focus heavily on our processes, driving in the right stock at the right time and ensuring we prioritise replenishment so when customers come in, they’re able to get everything they want. In the current climate with cost of living challenges, you want people to come and do one shop and get what they want, and not have to come back multiple times or hunt around.

How have you found the rollout of MyWaitrose? MyWaitrose is an online app, so one of the things we’re doing with our elderly customers particularly is supporting them, ensuring they understand how it works and how they can still benefit from the offers they get. Some customers still get vouchers, others can download vouchers through the app. Definitely the support needed for our older customers is different to what it would be for someone who’s a bit more tech-savvy.

What consumer habits have you seen recently? We relaunched our Cooks Ingredients range and it’s interesting to see where customers have perhaps been at home, and not going out to restaurants, they have been more creative and more experimental. I’ve noticed people actively seeking out Cooks Ingredients. What’s also been interesting is the uplift in sales of Christmas ranges already so early – I feel like customers are telling us this year they want to ensure they have the best possible Christmas.