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.

Voices
'Irritatingly Disneyfied': fashion vlogger Zoella
voices

News
people

Actress sees off speculation about her appearance in an amazing way

Arts and Entertainment
The last great picture - Winner 'Black and White' and overall 'Wildlife Photographer of the Year'
art
News
Carl Bernstein (left) and Bob Woodward (right) with former 'Washington Post' executive editor Ben Bradlee
people

The Washington Post editor helped Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein bring down President Nixon

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
tech

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

News
There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law
news

Life and Style
Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
techThe proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
News
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
i100
Sport
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
footballCSKA Moscow 2 Manchester City 2: Premier League champions let two goal lead slip in Russia
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

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Birmingham - Real Staffing

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: The SThree group is a world le...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant Birmingham

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Comission: SThree: The SThree group is a world lea...

Trainee Recruitment Consultants

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £Competitive: SThree: SThree Group and have be...

Helpdesk Analyst

£23000 per annum + pension and 22 days holiday: Ashdown Group: An established ...

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London