Otley Waitrose Exterior 2   June 2020

Source: Emma Trousdale/MalcPhoto

Winner: Waitrose Otley

Deputy store manager: John Simpson

Opened: 2004

Size: 20,000 sq ft

Market share: 20%

Nearest rivals: Asda – 0.4 miles, Sainsbury’s – 0.4 miles, Morrisons – 3.1 miles, Tesco – 6.1 miles

Store data source: Analysis by CACI.

Call the market planning group on 020 7602 6000

Rivals struggled with availability. How did you maintain strong levels? For us, it is all about keeping the routines going, keeping stock management going and making sure our ordering system has the best data possible. Availability is generally back to good levels now. Some products are still capped with a temporary limit, which is helping a lot.

Our shopper praised the social distancing measures in store. What processes are in place? We have partners marshalling the queue of customers as they wait to come in. We talk to them at that point about social distancing and also the services we offer, such as the Quick Check to help speed up customer journeys. I’m really proud of how the team has responded to the whole social distancing piece during lockdown. We talk to them every day to remind them of how important it is. The geography of the shop can make it difficult for them to achieve it at times. The business has supported us really well, with a package of stickers for the floor and point of sale for the shelf.

How has communication been with the executive board? Communication has been absolutely excellent. There is a daily update coming out and regular video blogs. It has all been open, honest and really good.

What is the plan for longer-term measures? Every day we get an update from the centre on the latest news and any changes or improvement to government guidance.

Are you communicating with staff who are shielding at home? Partners who are extremely vulnerable or living at home with someone who is on the list are still being furloughed.

How is the general mood of customers? Customers really appreciate what we are doing to keep them safe. We have had great feedback. The mood here is one of getting on with it and helping each other as best we can.

How have you coped with the online demand spike? We’ve been an online store for a few years so were able to cope well with the increased demand. And we’ve been well supported by the business to deal with the extra demand in terms of equipment and extra partners. The staff who came to help us from the Leeds John Lewis store have been picking and consolidating the orders, and even driving for us as well.

What was the reaction to a Waitrose colleague gracing the latest cover of Vogue? Partners here are really proud and really pleased. Even though Anisa is based down south in King’s Cross, it makes us feel together as a family and helps keep morale high.

Are any closed services reopening in store? At the start of lockdown we closed the café and counters. The deli is open again now and is trading well. We are waiting for guidance on how and when we open the café.

Has the recent glorious weather helped trading? The traditional hot weather lines have sold really well, especially the refreshed barbecue range, along with burger baps and bread buns. Beer and wines have also done really well for us.