Waitrose's Royal Warrant as Grocers and Wine & Spirit Merchants to Her Majesty The Queen has been renewed for a further five years. This is a great honour for our business. Royal Warrants are awarded as a mark of recognition to people or companies who have regularly supplied members of the Royal Family for at least five years. Waitrose was the first supermarket to be granted a Royal Warrant by Her Majesty The Queen in 2002 and this renewal means it will continue until 2018. Waitrose was also awarded a Royal Warrant by The Prince of Wales in 2010.
The provenance and traceability of the food we sell is vitally important. Our buyers are experts in their own fields and spend much of their time with farmers, growers and suppliers, building relationships based on trust and respect with the people who produce the high quality food and unusual ingredients our customers eat.
At the Soil Association Organic Food Awards, held in September 2013, Waitrose was named Best Supermarket. Judges praised Waitrose's 'holistic approach to providing a wide range of organic choices for their customers while fully supporting British and organic farming'.
Leading animal welfare charity Compassion in World Farming has named Waitrose as the UK's Most Compassionate Supermarket 2009/10. The coveted accolade was awarded to Waitrose because of its ongoing commitment to high standards of farm animal welfare. Compassion in World Farming also awarded Waitrose with a sought-after Good Chicken Award. The Awards celebrate food companies who are raising the standard across their ranges of chicken to higher welfare indoor or free-range/organic. The judges said Waitrose showed 'incredible leadership' by making the decision to use higher welfare chicken across all its ranges.
Waitrose's 'Price Commitment' is our promise to give customers quality food that is honestly priced and represents excellent value.
At the 2010 Grocer Awards the supermarket division won Own-label Range of the Year for essential Waitrose, the Grocer 33 Customer Service Award and Grocer of the Year.
Waitrose's pioneering approach to sourcing fresh fruit and vegetables from the regions it trades in and clearly labelling them as such has won a Gold Award from The Grocer magazine.
At Waitrose, we have more Masters of Wine than any other supermarket, and all our wines go through a rigorous quality control and tasting process. We also have wine specialists in our branches offering expert advice and have an illustrious track record for achievements in wine retailing. In 2013 Waitrose won four accolades at the Drinks Retailing Awards, which recognises innovation and best practice in the drinks market. Waitrose was awarded Multiple Wine, Cider and Spirits Retailer trophies and Supermarket of the Year.
In 2012 Waitrose was also named Retailer of the Year and European Retail Wine Buyer of the Year at the annual International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC). Waitrose won the Decanter Supermarket of the Year award at the 2011 Decanter retail awards. It was the third year running that the business has won this award and it is the fifth time since the awards began in 2006.
Waitrose has opened a cookery school above the Finchley Road (John Barnes) branch in north London. The 4,600 ft² cookery school comprises a theatre, teaching area, dining area, bar and kitchen. The school's varied timetable will offer consumers a choice of cookery classes, including sessions focusing on particular cuisine styles such as Indian or Italian, to more skills-based sessions such as butchery, baking and knife-skills. Courses will cover how to get the best out of cheese, meat and fish as well as all that is in season. Waitrose will also use the school to train its branch Specialists.
To find your nearest branch go to the Waitrose website (www.waitrose.com).
As the result of a franchise partnership food shops have been opened at 21 Welcome Break motorway service areas.
Waitrose was the first company to sign up to the Scottish Retailers' Charter, launched in June 2009, which aims to create a 'responsible approach' between retailers and suppliers.
In March 2010, Heston Blumenthal joined forces with Waitrose as a food ambassador for the brand. He appears in TV, press and online ads, sharing his expertise and showcasing recipes while championing individual ingredients from Waitrose. The advertisements are available to view along with video recipes and other video content at the Waitrose YouTube channel Waitrose YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/waitrose). A Heston from Waitrose range launched in 2010 and has been expanded further. It features a wide range of products including pies, stocks, dressings, burgers, sausages, soups, ice cream, and the Heston from Waitrose Hidden Orange Christmas pudding which was a sell-out success for Christmas 2010 and 2011.
Waitrose is also working with Delia Smith with the launch of The Delia Online Cookery School on Waitrose TV, offering an encyclopaedia of video clips showing how to perfect different techniques and recipes.
Waitrose online shopping service continues to grow and operates from 152 branches across the country. The service is designed to have all the benefits of your local Waitrose delivered to your door - free of charge. Waitrose was the first UK supermarket to abolish all delivery charges for online orders. For more details visit the Waitrose website (www.waitrose.com) to see if we deliver in your area.
Waitrose is also a long-term supplier to online retailer Ocado, which has sold our groceries to customers across the country since 2002. In 2010 we extended this successful partnership with a 10-year sourcing agreement, which will run until September 2020.
John Lewis's free Click & collect service is now available in over 190 Waitrose branches as well as all John Lewis stores. The service allows customers to buy online at johnlewis.com and pick up their purchases after 2pm the next day in their nominated branch.