Waitrose York Photo GP

Source: Photo GP

Faye Cartwright was talking to Lilith Foster-Collins

Store: Waitrose York
Store manager: Faye Cartwright
Opened: 2010
Size: 17,700 sq ft
Market share: 6.2%
Population: 200,937
Grocery spend: £5,009,420.64
Spend by household: £59.82
Competitors: 58
Nearest rivals: Aldi 0.9 miles, Asda 0.4 miles, Co-op 0.3 miles, Iceland 0.1 miles, Lidl 0.1 miles, M&S 0.3 miles, Morrisons 0.2 miles, Sainsbury’s 0.4 miles, Tesco 0.4 miles, Waitrose 9.1 miles

Source: CACI. For more info visit www.caci.co.uk/contact. 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 the online report at www.thegrocer.co.uk/stores/the-grocer-33

What stands out about Waitrose York? The partners – they are a real credit to the store. They’re so passionate about what they do and they really go out of their way to deliver for the customer.

Our shopper noticed you have a lot of younger staff. Is that typical for your store? We have a real mix of staff. We have a huge student population with two universities in York so we do have young partners, but then we also have partners who have been here for 12 years since we opened. It depends what time of day you come.

How do you approach managing your staff when you have such a mix of partners? It just means a lot of different sorts of communication to ensure we capture everybody’s needs. The leadership team works really hard to build those relationships to ensure that whoever you are, it’s a really enjoyable experience to work here.

Tell us a bit about your customers. Again we have a mix – we have a lot of families, as well as young professionals and students.

What’s been selling well recently? Our meal deals have been selling particularly well. I think it’s probably because of the weather – it’s pouring here.

How do you target students in your store? It’s all about the offers. Our homeware section also goes well when the students arrive in September so we make sure that’s really well stocked. We have a lot of Chinese students so we make sure we have things written in Chinese for them just to make it easier.

What do you think of Waitrose’s Christmas range for 2023? It’s my favourite time of the year and I’ve already got my eye on some of those lines. When they come into branch it’s always the highlight of the year. There’s some really standout lines – a shimmery salmon caught my eye. We will get all the products in to sample so the partners can talk about them with our customers.

When do you start preparing for Christmas in store? We start in September with our planning meetings. We try to give our partners enough notice as possible so that they can plan.

How is the New Lower Prices campaign being received? Brilliantly. I spoke to a customer yesterday who was saying that they’ve really noticed a big difference in our prices, particularly around fruit & veg, and the quality is still as excellent as always. Our recipe cards are popular as well. We give out the cards to our partners along with the products for free and they do a kind of review of it so that they can talk to customers about them.

What other recent customer interactions stand out to you? Our meat and fish counter is a real highlight. Our partners there have really lovely relationships with customers. We have customers who come in weekly and we really hear about the ins and outs of their lives.

What’s your favourite product or line in store? That’s really tricky. I think there are probably two – I do all my shopping at Waitrose and I love our products. If I was having a barbecue the harissa halloumi kebabs are amazing, I’ve never had anything from anywhere else that tastes as good. And then the go-to that I buy every week is a No.1 pizza. There’s a king prawn one which is really nice, and there’s a salami and chilli one. I had that last night actually!