Waitrose targets 300 convenience stores

Waitrose and Alliance Boots to cross-sell products in 'significant' move

Waitrose has signalled its intention to become a major force in the convenience store market, and unveiled a partnership with the health and beauty giant Alliance Boots to cross-sell products in each other's stores.

The 215-store grocer is to take on Sainsbury's and Tesco by opening convenience stores, sized between 2,000 sq ft and 4,000 sq ft, after a trial of two larger formats in Bristol and Nottingham over the past nine months.

Mark Price, the managing director of Waitrose, said the grocer could open 300 convenience stores over the next five to 10 years, depending on the success of the trial. "The smaller shops will allow Waitrose to penetrate catchments that it [currently] can't," he said.

The convenience store roll-out is the latest in a series of expansion initiatives unveiled by Waitrose, which is the UK's fastest-growing supermarket. This year, it has already launched a value range, Essentials, opened its first store inside a Welcome Break service station, and earlier this month acquired the exclusive rights to the Duchy Originals brand, the upmarket food range founded by the Prince of Wales.

Mr Price said: "Our ambition was to make sure Waitrose was the top quality grocer, but to do this we had to have a broader appeal. What you are starting to see in last six months is the implementation of a strategy we have been working on for much longer." Last week, Waitrose, which is owned by the John Lewis Partnership, delivered record operating profits, before exceptional items, up by 20.1 per cent to £127.8m for the half-year to 1 August, boosted by Essentials, increased store openings and a 1.8 per cent rise in like-for-like sales.

After opening two motorway service shops, as part of a franchise agreement with Welcome Break, Waitrose yesterday said it would roll out a further nine shops over the next eight months, and additional stores are on the agenda. The grocer said the two shops, on the M40 at Oxford and the A1-M25 at South Mimms, which have created 50 jobs, had made a "big impact" and had reached up to nine million motorists.

The grocer said it would provide further details of its product partnership with Alliance Boots later in the year, but they are discussing the trial of certain product ranges in each other's stores. While Waitrose will supply the high street chemist with a range of food, Alliance Boots will provide the grocer with healthcare and well-being ranges. Mr Price said: "Potentially, it is very, very significant working with Boots." It is likely to include a lunchtime offer of sandwiches, wraps and sushi, but he declined to comment on this.

Both retailers are already working on rebranding the Boots UK-owned pharmacies in 13 Waitrose stores to Boots Pharmacy.

While the launch of the Essential Waitrose value range had delivered a huge boost to the grocer since launching in March, Mr Price said that the supermarket chain had substantially sharpened up its pricing. Based on its tracking of 1,200 lines, Waitrose said it is now only 3.8 per cent more expensive than Sainsbury's, compared to between 8 and 9 per cent two years ago.

"We have significantly increased the amount of promotions," said Mr Price. For the 12 weeks to 6 September, Waitrose posted sales growth of 11.2 per cent, which outstripped Morrisons' 9.3 per cent, Asda's 7.8 per cent, Sainsbury's 7 per cent and Tesco's 4.6 per cent, according to TNS Worldpanel.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special
tvCould Mrs Brown's Boys have taken lead for second year?
News
news
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
news
News
i100
Sport
Alexis Sanchez missed a penalty before scoring the opening goal with a header at the back post
footballLive! Sanchez makes up for penalty miss to put Arsenal ahead
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Arts and Entertainment
Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz in Tim Burton's Big Eyes
film reviewThis is Tim Burton’s most intimate and subtle film for a decade
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
Arts and Entertainment
Madonna is not in Twitter's good books after describing her album leak as 'artistic rape and terrorism'
music14 more 'Rebel Heart' tracks leaked including Pharrell Williams collaboration
Sport
Rooney celebrates with striker-partner Radamel Falcao after the pair combine to put United ahead
footballManchester United vs Newcastle match report
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Selby Jennings: SVP Model Validation

Not specified: Selby Jennings: SVP Model Validation This top tiered investment...

Selby Jennings: Oil Operations

Highly Competitive: Selby Jennings: Our client, a leading European Oil trading...

The Jenrick Group: Night Shift Operations Manager

£43500 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Night Shift Operatio...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - LONDON

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000 + Car + Pension: SThree: SThree are a ...

Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all