waitrose newton mearns kate aitken

You received top marks for shop floor service. What do you do differently? The team in this branch know our customers well and are proactive at giving a personal and unique service. For example, one of our partners speaks everything from French and Mandarin to Urdu. He learnt the welcome phrases so he could communicate with customers in their own language.

Waitrose is trialling wood-based packaging in three Italian ready meals. Have they arrived? We’ve got them in. It’s new for us so we haven’t had much feedback yet but anything we can do to minimise our plastic waste at a branch level and as a retailer is really important.

How was the removal of the disposable coffee cups received? We haven’t had disposable cups for over a month now. It was a smoother transition than we anticipated. There was probably an initial ‘does that mean I don’t get my free coffee any more?’ As soon as it was explained that the free coffee was still on offer, people adapted to the changes quite well and some customers were positive because it shortened their queuing time.

How is the big push on vegan and veggie ranges going? A few months ago we launched our bespoke vegan range and separated our vegan and vegetarian items. At the time we introduced some new ranges including some very popular vegan cheeses and some desserts, including a nice chocolate torte. When we take customers over to the vegan display they spend a lot of time there - normally they come in for one item and leave with three or four.

Are you doing anything special for Halloween? We have kids’ colouring-in competitions and do tastings. This year we have a fab new Halloween cheese on our counter, which is a toffee apple-flavoured cheese shaped like a pumpkin in an orange wax packaging. It’s £5. We’ve also launched a bogof offer on all fireworks.

Winner: Waitrose Newton Mearns

Deputy branch manager: Kate Aitken

Opened: 2011

Size: 25,000 sq ft

Market share: 9.3%

Nearest rivals: Aldi - 0.2 miles, Sainsbury’s - 1.6 miles, Asda - 2.0 miles, Lidl - 2.0 miles

Store data source: Analysis by CACI. Call the market planning group on 020 7602 6000