Kevin Sharkey Waitrose Milngavie

Source: By Murrant

Kevin Sharkey was talking to Lilith Foster-Collins

Store: Waitrose Milngavie
Store manager: Kevin Sharkey
Opened: 2015
Size: 25,004 sq ft
Market share: 11.19%
Population: 343,845
Grocery spend: £9,218,524.97
Spend by household: £56.37
Competitors: 79
Nearest rivals: Aldi 0.0 miles, Asda 1.1 miles, Co-op 0.3 miles, Iceland 2.4 miles, Lidl 1.3 miles, M&S 0.6 miles, Morrisons 2.9 miles, Sainsbury’s 1.2 miles, Tesco 0.5 miles, Waitrose 3.9 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

Tell us a bit about your career: This is my 25th year in food retail. I originally joined one of the competitors and went through their graduate scheme, but just last week I celebrated my 16th year in the partnership. I spent my first years working in and around London in a variety of branches before moving back up to Scotland about four years ago. This is my second shop in Scotland and I’ve been at Milngavie for about three years now.

What is your favourite moment from your time at Waitrose? It was our reaction to the pandemic, the way our partners and our business were able to meet the needs of the public at a really difficult and challenging time. We managed to navigate that time and were able to deliver a great environment, and our partners went above and beyond at a time when they were worried for themselves. I think everyone in retail should feel very proud of what they’ve achieved over the last really challenging years.

How’s this year been going for you so far? It’s been a really good start to the year for us. Although we’re a relatively new branch, we got a mini refurbishment towards the end of last year. We had quite a small John Lewis range offered in the branch before, whereas we now have a full aisle of Better Together products and we’ve also got a sushi counter. That arrived quite towards the tail end of last year. We’ve got a lot of competition on our doorstep, but the customers are now starting to really see compelling reasons to keep coming back. We’re seeing really good engagement with the new ranges we’ve brought in. We already had a café, but we’ve added a community room too.

What’s the area like around you? Although we are relatively close to Glasgow, there’s a real community feel to Milngavie so we care for the full range of customers. We have your traditional family weekend shoppers through to your young professionals in the evening, but we also have quite a high population of elderly customers who come in on a daily basis. They use the café as we offer a social hub for meeting up with friends and relatives.

How do you make sure you’re catering to that community?  We’re making sure we see each of the customers as individuals and look at what their mission is. If someone is looking for advice or information, we’ve got our newly qualified butcher, or we’ve got a wine specialist who’s able to talk through our fantastic products. But we are equally conscious of the customers who want to get through the shop quickly. So it’s making sure we’ve got the availability that they’re looking for, and their payment option, be it the scan and pay, or on their phone, or the speed and ease of going through the tills.

What are your plans for the coronation? We’re seeing a lot of customers buying keepsakes such as the jute bags and teddies. A lot of our customers are wanting something to remember the occasion by. We’re also celebrating on the coronation itself with a nice range of products that showcase some of the best of the lines that were brought in. We’ve been doing tastings on some of the products to get the partners passionate about them so they can talk confidently to the customers about the range.