Waitrose goes little to grow big

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The Independent Online

Waitrose has announced plans to open a record number of branches within the M25 next year, which is expected to create up to 1,000 jobs.

The mutual retailer aims to open 20 new "Little Waitrose" convenience shops in and around London by the end of 2012.

It follows a successful trial of the sub-brand at a store in Kensington, west London, which opened in January this year. The brand is designed to "help shoppers easily differentiate its convenience format" from the rest of the Waitrose estate.

It will become the largest number of branches that Waitrose has opened in the area in one year since the company's first shop opened in Acton in 1904, and will provide an additional 100,000sq ft of selling space.