Waitrose Claim Market Share from the Big Supermarket

Although the big supermarkets are losing ground to the discount stores, there is another contender on the market: Waitrose. By being “everything the discounters aren’t”, Waitrose boss, Mark Price, hopes to snap up as big a share of the market as possible.
“Value isn’t just about price. It’s about quality, the store environment and services, all of those things,” he commented.
Waitrose is all about the quality, and it has no fear of keeping prices high. As the four big supermarkets, Tesco, Asda, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s are kicking off another price war, Waitrose is focusing on introducing new features to make the weekly shop more of an experience.
The new Swindon outlet of the high end chain has a cafe, a deli and cake bar, a juice bar, and even a wine tasting area. Free coffee for customers is a possibility as well as the implementation of new technology, all to improve the customer experience.
Although Waitrose is high end and almost infamously ‘posh’ (leading to the hilarious ‘Overheard in Waitrose’ Facebook page exhibiting quotations such as “Don’t we already have a wine thermometer dear?”), the recent improvements are not just surface comforts.
Recently, there was a push for personalisation and efficiency, including as a drive to get the staff who pack the online orders to answer customer phone calls, rather than have them directed to a call centre, giving customers a direct channel to sort out any issues they have.
All these improvements are working for Waitrose, who are building on the market share losses of the big supermarkets, shown by their sales which rose by 6.5% in the first quarter of this year.
Between the successes of the high end quality of Waitrose and the discount prices of Aldi and Lidl, the big supermarkets need to do something to claw back some of their market, or they may find themselves in trouble.