Waitrose Cheltenham store manager Mike Snowdon: proud of “very best experience and service” at his store

One by one, store managers from Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose filed into a room deep in London’s magnificent Guildhall and launched their bid to be crowned Store Manager of the Year.

All five delivered a strong pitch, but there could only be one winner - Mike Snowdon, store manager at the 59,000 sq ft Waitrose Food & Home superstore in Cheltenham.

“I’m absolutely delighted,” said Snowdon after picking up the trophy. “It’s testament to the fantastic work and attitude that all of our 550 Waitrose Cheltenham Partners put in every day. It’s a joy to come to work with such a wonderful team and provide our customers with the very best experience and service.”

Snowdon, the first Waitrose manager to scoop the award, was singled out for some “impressive numbers”, his “obvious initiative and resourcefulness” in a “slick presentation” and a “calm but purposeful demeanour” under questioning.

Snowdon set up a Cheltenham Academy that has gone on to groom a number of branch managers and other senior staff; increased takings in the cafe by 30%, despite the introduction of free coffee and tea offered by Waitrose; kept a tight control of costs; improved the click & collect service; and sorted out an initially messy switch of supply from John Lewis to Waitrose on the non-food side.

“It was a very clear, comprehensive presentation all round,” said one judge. “There was nothing he fell down on and he still seems hungry. If a challenge arose you get the feeling he would bust a gut to fix it without the customers suffering.”

Store manager of the year: how the winner was decided

The five store managers were nominated by their respective supermarkets after winning The Grocer 33 Store of the Week competition. They each made a 10-minute PowerPoint presentation before being grilled for another 10 minutes by a distinguished panel of judges: Steven Esom, Product Chain/Cranswick, Stephen Robertson, Timpson’s, Gareth Thomas, John Lewis Partnership (retired), Bart Dalla Mura, Truenorth Initiatives, Lorraine Hendle, WRBM; and Adam Leyland, The Grocer.


Richard Jenkins (Asda, Cardiff), Stuart Marshall (Morrisons, Littlehampton), Marc Watson (Sainsbury’s, Longstone) and Wayne Thompson (Tesco, Cheshunt).