Waitrose Introduces Budget Own-Label Range

Supermarket chain Waitrose has launched a cheaper range of own-brand products as it looks to compete with its cheaper rivals and improve sliding sales.
The Essential Waitrose range consists of more than 1,400 lines of staple groceries including fruit and vegetables, meat, fish, poultry, pasta and milk, as well as household cleaning products.
Around 200 new lines have been added to the range, while 450 existing Waitrose goods will be reduced in price.
Waitrose said up to £25m is being invested into the line to ensure prices are kept low without compromising “on quality standards or sourcing integrity”. For example, bananas in the Essential range will be Fairtrade and eggs will be free range.
Mark Price, the retailer’s managing director, commented: “Essential Waitrose effectively combines the quality our customers have come to expect and the reassurance of Waitrose values, together with affordable prices and an easily recognisable brand.”
The range is set to compete with the comprehensive own-label ranges of its cheaper rivals, including the Tesco ‘Value’ range and Asda’s ‘Smart Price’ offering.
Waitrose has lost market share over the past year as bargain-hunting customers have traded down to rivals such as Sainsbury’s and Asda.
The group’s share of the UK grocery market dropped from 4.1 per cent to 3.9 per cent in the 12 weeks to February 22, according to the latest figures from TNS Worldpanel.

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