Simona Ward Photography Waitose

Source: Simon Ward Photography

Store manager: Jon Pearsey

Store: Waitrose Salisbury

Opened: 1997

Size: 17,700 sq ft

Market share: 10%

Population: 67,192

Grocery spend: £1,849,418

Spend by household: £63

Competitors: 16

Nearest rivals: Aldi - 1.3 miles, Asda - 16.4 miles, Co-op - 0.6 miles, Iceland - 0.4 miles, Lidl - 1.4 miles, M&S - 0.6 miles, Morrisons - 14.1 miles, Sainsbury’s - 0.5 miles, Tesco - 0.4 miles, Waitrose - 14.5 miles

Source: CACI. For more info visit Notes: Shopper profiling is measured using Grocery Acorn shopper segmentation. Store catchment data (market share, population, expenditure, spend by household, competition) is within a five-mile radius. For CACI’s shopper segmentation of the other stores we visited this week see our service & availability report.

Tell us a bit about your branch. It’s a Waitrose food & home and has been since it opened nearly 25 years ago. So we have the benefit of some John Lewis general merchandise in about a third of the shop footprint.

This week’s theme is student basket. How do you attract a younger demographic? We are competitive and we’ve got the Essential Waitrose range as well. We focus on making sure availability across all ranges is as strong as possible. We have a wide range of shoppers because it’s such a big branch. Another reason to come is the GM, the John Lewis side of things, it’s quite a wide range but our point of difference is around service, not just great product, We really focus with the team on service as you picked up from the mystery shopper.

What Waitrose Christmas products are early shoppers going for? Christmas snacks and nibbles for people getting together with friends. I would say our panettones and mince pies are selling particularly well. Christmas bakery generally has been very popular.

And what about on the John Lewis side? Children’s clothing is really popular but at the moment it’s seasonal – candles and gifting particularly. We’ve got Christmas trees and a really good range of seasonal product.

Our shopper noticed major availability issues in areas like bread, crisps and bottled water. How would you assure shoppers that may be worried about getting their essentials? We’re working closely with our suppliers and doing everything we can to make Christmas special for our customers. The supply chain is working across the board to provide as full an assortment as possible. As a branch manager, I’m confident that we’ll have those products for customers. Not just now, but across the full festive season.

One of your food counters is currently not being used. What was it previously and do you have any plans to replace it? It used to be a juice bar. It’s basically closed and it’s in the vicinity of fruit & vegetables. It’s a long counter, so we use it to merchandise poinsettia instead of it being empty. I think when we look at investment over the next year or so, it’s definitely on the plan to look at that space.

What other services would you like to see revamped? At this point we don’t have plans, but we have a wide range of services in the branch already – a large café, a bakery area, the home assortment and full service counters including a wine bar. So that will be reviewed in the next year, and we’ll look at what is available at the time.

Are customers starting to return to the wine bar? The wine bar is really popular with our customers. We’ve had that since the refurbishment in 2014.

What is your online delivery capacity like? Here at Salisbury, we’ve invested in additional capacity and increased it significantly over the last 18 months. We have more than tripled the capacity. We’re running 17 vans so it’s a fairly big-scale operation.

How are you managing Christmas slots? We’ve seen really strong demand for our slots, with customers planning ahead when they were released in September. Christmas week is now fully booked, but we’re constantly looking at capacity and I still believe at this point there are slots available the week before that.