Winner: Waitrose, Paddock Wood, Kent
Manager: Roger Edwards
Size: 20,000 sq ft
Market share: 13.7%
Nearest rivals: Tesco - 5.7 miles, Sainsbury’s - 6.7 miles, Iceland - 6.7 miles, Aldi - 6.8 miles
Store data source: Analysis by CACI. Call the market planning group on 020 7602 6000
Tell us a bit about the store? Paddock Wood is a small town and the branch has been here since 2000 when it was acquired from Somerfield, so we have some long-standing partners. Customers expect a very high standard of service and we endeavour to give them that - it’s the most important thing that we as a branch and a business can give to our customers. It’s due to training from when they start to the commitment from the management team. We continuously reinforce that.
How closely are you watching Waitrose Unpacked? We get information from Waitrose through The Gazette and other publications in the branches. It is very early days and we’ll see what comes out of that. Some aspects are working very well. Customers are always asking us about our environmental credentials. We’ve started with the new compostable plastic bags in our fruit & veg department which our customers are really pleased with. It’s great to say that as a business we are leading in this aspect. We are listening to our customers and progressing with our environmental credentials.
What one new department would you want to add? I wouldn’t at the moment. We had a major refurbishment two years ago and extended the coffee shop. Customers are still getting used to the layout change. We also have meat and fish counters, a deli counter and the Sushi Daily franchise. We have some fantastic partners behind the counters who are really skilled in what they do.
How are you responding to price sensitivity? I think all customers are relatively price sensitive. However, a lot of our customers really care about the service and availability they receive on a daily basis. We do have some good offers on a regular basis. We change every four weeks or so and they go well, but I think it’s the whole shop experience our customers want to have rather than wanting the cheapest.