Waitrose To Break Into Convenience Stores Market

Waitrose will reportedly launch its urban convenience stores format early next year in a bid to take advantage of the £27.4 billion convenience retail market.
According to reports by the Independent, the upmarket grocer has hired Consultant Anthony Wysome, a former senior project manager at Waitrose, to lead the charge into the convenience market and go head to head with the likes of Tesco Express, Sainsburys Local outlets and the Simply Food stores from Marks and Spencer .
Waitrose has so far kept details of the new scheme under wraps, but a spokesman confirmed: “Waitrose is exploring the potential for smaller shops .”
“We’ve made no secret of the fact that we want to build the size of our business and we are exploring opportunities to take the Waitrose brand to areas where it’s not currently represented.”
“We would hope to be trialling a shop within six to nine months,” he added.
The move is expected to put more pressure on rival chain Marks and Spencer, which last week unveiled a 4.5 per cent fall in like-for-like food sales and announced it had parted company with its food director Steve Esom.
The convenience store plans follow the recent launch of Waitrose’s smaller market town stores which focus on offering customers fresh produce and specialist foods .
It opened its first in St Neots, Cambridgeshire, in May and a second in Buckingham, Buckinghamshire last month. Waitrose is understood to be planning another opening in Brackley, Northamptonshire, next week and two in London – one in Kensington and another in Belgravia .

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