Are there any perks to the events?
Well they certainly increase footfall. We recently had the regional university fair and thousands of students descended on the store and blitzed our stock of sandwiches. But we know when the events are happening and staff and our stock team are prepared. The Great Yorkshire Show is on 8 July so we are gearing up for more fun soon.
Our CACI data shows Waitrose is best suited to Harrogate - surprised?
Not really because Harrogate is a very affluent town and Waitrose is renowned for its quality fresh food. I regularly visit them to get ideas. Improving our counters to a premium delicatessen standard is something Sainsbury's is focused on nationally.
I understand you have some demanding customers
Yes. Some time ago, a number of Asda execs based in Leeds joined Sainsbury's as directors and now shop at my store, which keeps us on our toes. Sir Ken Morrison and Andy Bond use our store regularly, which is an interesting case of brand loyalty and contributing to our 6% year-on-year growth.
What products are selling well at
Frozen food has made a huge comeback. I think this is because people are more price conscious and recognise that you waste less food with frozen and its quality is equal to chilled. We also have the highest beers, wines and spirits sales in the company.
Are you expecting a healthy Sainsbury's trading update?
Yes. I think we'll see the benefits of an improved marketing campaign and we are getting across the message that there's little between our prices and those at Tesco and Morrisons. But in my 22 years in the industry, I have never seen such ferocity in terms of price comparison advertising.
Have you experienced any problems with availability?
The fuel protests in Spain have caused us a few problems with stocks of
spinach and root vegetables but the situation has improved now.