Steven Roome Waitrose Gerrards Cross

Source: Natasha Wiening

Store: Waitrose Gerrards Cross
Store manager: Steven Roome
Opened: 2012
Size: 13,000 sq ft
Market share: 10%
Population: 165,136
Grocery spend: £4,625,541
Spend by household: £74
Competitors: 37

Nearest rivals: Aldi 6.1 miles, Asda 6.5 miles, Co-op 1.3 miles, Iceland 4.2 miles, Lidl 4.3 miles, M&S 0.5 miles, Morrisons 6.2 miles, Sainsbury’s 3.6 miles, Tesco 0.1 miles, Waitrose 4.4 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 our service & availability report

Tell us about your career with Waitrose? I’ve been with Waitrose now for 30 years and I’ve worked my way through various different positions in the company. I came to Gerrards Cross just before Christmas last year, so I’ve been here about seven months now and prior to that I was working in Knightsbridge, central London, for the last 13 years.

What’s different between the two stores? In central London your customer base is far more transient and tourist-based. Knightsbridge had a very high turnover of customers, so high footfall but not much loyalty. Coming out of the city there has been a change in the pace of business and customer base – you get to know your customers more and you get to understand their needs as well, which is fantastic. In London, it was about getting shoppers through the store and checkouts quite fast. Here at Gerrards Cross there’s a much more personal service and there’s a little bit more time to care over your customers. There’s a nice two-way relationship that’s part of the shopping experience here.

What challenges have you faced during this transition? For the whole industry, the last couple of years have been really challenging in terms of Covid and supply chain issues across the whole country. Some of those problems are starting to drift into the past and it’s been about being able to return to operational excellence, really.

How have your priorities shifted? They haven’t. I’ve been doing this job for quite a while now, and I’ve found in whatever food retail trading environment you’re in, if you just stick to the principles of great shopkeeping and keeping it uncomplicated and having a clear message for your Partners, I think it works in any trade environment.

How would you describe your customer demographic now? It’s quite residential. There are people who shop with us every week, they generally come in for a bigger shop, and they’re very loyal. Gerrards Cross is quite an affluent area and we do have a number of older customers, as there are quite a few retired people around. They want to know the provenance of their food and they want good-quality ingredients.

How do you cater to them when you run a smaller shop? I think for a smaller store we’ve got a fantastic range. It’s nowhere near as big as some of our larger competitors or some of our other larger Waitrose stores, but I still think we’ve got a really good range in store that does cater for our customers. We also have our Essential range, which is fantastically priced. It fulfils the customer mission and on top of that, our fresh food counter availability has been great, which is why we’re seeing some good upturns in fresh sales at the moment. With summer coming up we’re trying to make the most of the space we’ve got – big bold displays of our summer lines, including promotions on soft drinks, beers and wines, fruit and veg.

How do you think you have contributed to this win? By keeping it simple – again, just bringing great shopkeeping into the store and striving for operational excellence. That’s the building block for the happiness of the Partners, and if you’ve got happy Partners and a good-looking shop with great availability, you’re going to have happy customers.