Craig Kendall Waitrose Otley

Source: Waitrose Otley

Duty manager: Craig Kendall

Store: Waitrose Otley

Opened: 2004

Size: 21,035 sq ft

Market share: 19%

Population: 109,935

Grocery spend: £2,864,207

Spend by household: £61

Competitors: 18

Nearest rivals: Aldi 2.1 miles, Asda 0.4 miles, Co-op 2.0 miles, Iceland 5.9 miles, Lidl 6.9 miles, M&S 2.4 miles, Morrisons 2.3 miles, Sainsbury’s 0.2 miles, Tesco 4.4 miles, Waitrose 7.4 miles

Source: CACI. For more info call the market planning group on 0207 602 6000.

Notes: Store catchment data (market share, population, expenditure, spend by household, competition) is within a five-mile radius. 

What makes this branch special? I’ve worked here for 33 years, since it was a Safeway. We’re a strong team with a lot of established partners and have worked either for the company or for this branch for a long time, so it creates quite a good family feel, especially with the customers we’ve got.

What do current shopper habits indicate about the upcoming holiday trading period? We’re seeing customers do some of their Christmas shopping earlier than they traditionally would at this time of year. People are just conscious of issues with supply and thinking ‘Well, maybe I’ll get some of it this month rather than the end of next month just to make sure’, but we’ve been assured that there’s going to be no shortages of these lines. A lot of the mince pies, Christmas puddings, and Christmas cakes, and things like that – we’re seeing those are selling really well, but also a lot of the gifting lines as well. I don’t know if that’s being driven by people worrying that they’re not able to get their products at Christmas time or not. It’s difficult to predict what’s going through people’s minds, as a lot of it is dictated by what’s on the news. This past year has been completely different from previous years, so we’re just doing what we always do and concentrating on what we can control. We’re expecting to trade as normal.

What are the most popular Christmas purchases now? Well, online it’s all about ambient lines at the moment, while in the store fresh lines really take off in that last two weeks of December. We don’t actually get all our fresh Christmas lines in until a lot later on. So at the moment our festive bestsellers are things like our mince pies and Christmas puddings. In terms of ranging, it is never really over the top in store at this stage. We keep the Christmas lines within our seasonal areas. We’re very conscious of not going over the top before Armistice Day – we don’t play any Christmas music or hang decorations or anything like that yet.

How is the demand for online Christmas delivery slots? We’re at full capacity. We’ve seen a lot of our regular customers take their slots up, so all the Christmas slots that were released to our customers have been booked up now.

With COP26 happening now, do you have any specific sustainability initiatives happening within the branch or team? We are doing a lot as a retailer around reducing plastic packing, using more recycled material and encouraging customers to return soft plastics for recycling. We do have people come to speak personally to me about what we’re doing in recycling and areas like that.

How have the latest Waitrose vegetarian & vegan ranges taken off at your store? That’s been really popular. We started off I think with just a vegetarian and then a vegan area, and now our vegan area has doubled in size in what we’re offering to customers in the range, so that that’s gone really well.

Waitrose is launching potato milk next year having identified it as a new trend. How do you think this will go down with your customers? It’s obviously something that our head office has researched, and they’ve had positive feedback from customers as well. I think it’s going to be really popular. That’s the thing with the Waitrose lines – they are quite unique, and customers like that they’re able to get these sort of things from us.