We’ve been having a miniheatwave – how has it affected trade? It has been great, let’s hope that it lasts! We are seeing strong increases on our summer lines, from BBQ food and salads through to plastic plates. Every time the sun comes out, our customers seem to respond. Drinks are going really well. We just ran a ‘25% off six bottles of wine’ promotion, which boosted sales in the branch by about 30%. 

What else is selling well? We are having a bumper run! The areas that are really going well are meat, fish, deli and cheese – our service counters are up 13% year-on-year. They are a really valuable point of difference for us, so we invest a lot of time in our specialists who are thoroughly trained to understand the products they are selling. Fruit and vegetables are also up around 10%. The fair weather encourages people towards salads and fruits, and there is quite a lot of the Love Life range, which has had a lot of focus of late, in the fresh offering. 

Why do you think Love Life is selling so well? I think it sends out a very clear message that it is healthy and nutritious, but it looks good! We have a whole range of foods, from indulgent to healthy, and Love Life is about nutritious food that tastes good. From what I’ve tried it doesn’t feel like you are going without! 

The store is only four years old – is it very environmentally-friendly? Waitrose is trying to build all its branches in the most environmentally-friendly way. A huge amount now recycle food waste, which is used to create electricity. A number of branches, including this one, are lit with motion-sensitive lighting. Lights come on and off when rooms are occupied. It is all about saving energy where we can. All Waitrose branches now have a full range of recycling bins in the dining rooms. 

Do you do a busy online trade? We have good feedback and a lot of return customers. There were problems with the launch of the new website earlier this year, but a lot of fixes have been put in place. We have grown in numbers and are putting more resource into it. I feel sure it is the future of shopping, it is just going to carry on growing. 

What changes have you made since you started? I really focused the team on the customers, and the team has absolutely delivered. This is my first branch manager position and it is a lovely store with lovely colleagues. The people who work here are testament to the branch’s results and this G33 win. They do an outstanding job every single day.