Winner: Waitrose, Glasgow
Store manager: Maureen Cronshaw
Size: 15,000 sq ft
Market share: 4.8%
Nearest rivals: Tesco – 1 mile, Sainsbury’s – 1.4 miles, Morrisons – 1.7 miles, Asda – 2.2 miles
Store data source: Analysis by CACI.
Call the market planning group on 020 7602 6000
Availability has been strong at Waitrose throughout the crisis. How have you managed? We are pretty much back to normal, but certain categories are still a problem. We had the flour issue and now sugar is in short supply. But the central team has done a phenomenal job throughout the lockdown of sourcing alternatives for us.
Are you selling face masks? Not at the moment. We are using the John Lewis supply, with a range available online.
Waitrose recently hit the milestone of 150,000 online orders in a week. How have you managed online demand? The team has just worked incredibly hard. The night shift does most of the picking, so we have had to bulk up our numbers overnight. We’ve also opened up as much availability as we can for collection. Physically we only have availability for two vans. We have worked really hard to max out the vans we have and upped our deliveries by almost 50%. We have also been doing lots more click & collect. And we have carried out ad hoc deliveries for vulnerable customers.
Have you got vulnerable staff returning to work? I have four furloughed at the moment, who are either extremely vulnerable or living with someone who is extremely vulnerable. One of those is coming back next week and another the following week. We are still waiting for the other two and we stay in contact with them.
How has business been as a city centre store? Our trade levelled off very quickly at the early stage of the lockdown as footfall dropped about 60%. However, even though we have far fewer customers, sales haven’t dipped as customers have been doing much larger shops. Just in the past couple of weeks, customer footfall has started to increase.
Non-essential shops are reopening in Scotland at the end of the month. How does that affect long-term planning? It is an ongoing evolution now. Even over the most recent weekend, we have noticed basket customers are picking up pace. So, we are promoting our Quick Check scan and go to get shoppers in and out as quickly as possible. It also means we are having to man the quick tills more.
How about potential changes to social distancing rules from two to one metre? We get a daily operational update from the head office, which is constantly monitoring government guidelines. We also listen every day to what customers are telling us and some are saying they wouldn’t be comfortable with a shorter distance. It is about keeping that balance.
What have been the big successes from the Scrumptious Summer range? The barbecue range has been getting the most phenomenal feedback: the burgers, kebabs and steaks.
Is staff morale still high? I’ve been incredibly impressed. Every partner has some issue or difficulty going on outside of work, but they have managed to put it to one side in the branch.
How has contact been with head office during the crisis? The executive team have been incredibly active. There are very open, no-holds-barred live streams regularly.