Rupert Thomas

Marketing director

Waitrose

British consumers’ love affair with Waitrose shows no signs of abating, and Thomas deserves much of the credit for this. The supermarket has even spawned the (unofficial) Facebook page, ‘Overheard in Waitrose’, which has amassed more than 300,000 ‘likes’. It records such gems as "I can’t eat cod. That’s a workingclass fish" and "Lucas, put that falafel down, you already chose olives with Manchego for your treat". In a challenging market, Waitrose has continued to outperform its rivals without sacrificing its premium credentials. In 2013, Waitrose recorded its busiest Christmas in its 109- year history, with sales breaking the £300m barrier for the first time in the last two weeks of the year. Thomas also found the time to breathe new life into the loyalty market with the MyWaitrose scheme, which, as well as confirming the public’s obsession with coffee on the go, has provided a much-needed boost to the newspaper market. The supermarket now gives 1m free coffees and newspapers to its customers every week.



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