Press releases

John Lewis announces 'little Waitrose at John Lewis' trial

Tuesday 12 March 2013

John Lewis today announced a £2million investment to trial a new food concept at its Watford department store, offering customers the opportunity to top-up on Waitrose products whilst shopping in-store.

The plans will convert 5,500 sq ft of back of house space on the second floor into a 'little Waitrose at John Lewis' shop. The shop design will look and feel like a little Waitrose, with the same food expertise and products, but will be run by John Lewis Partners especially for the John Lewis customer.

John Lewis Watford customers will be able to top up on food for the week, shop for dinner or pick up a quick snack. The food offer will be built around core groceries including fresh fruit and deli products as well as convenience ranges of ready meals, fresh pasta, soups and breads, along with the Waitrose 'easy' ranges of prepared meat, fish and vegetables. The shop will benefit from a bakery counter that will serve bread and viennoiserie products fresh from the oven, alongside individually wrapped cakes and pastries.  Customers will also be able to stock up on an extensive range of ales and beers, and a large assortment of fine wines and champagnes as well as being able to pick up fresh flowers and store cupboard items, including laundry and cleaning products.

Andy Street, managing director of John Lewis said: 'The success of our Foodhalls at Oxford Street and Bluewater has taught us how to deliver a food offer in an inspiring and accessible way. This new little Waitrose at John Lewis Watford underlines our continuing commitment to invest and innovate in our shops and is a great example of the John Lewis and Waitrose brands working together to provide powerful and compelling destinations for our customers to visit.'

Jonathan Field, managing director of John Lewis Watford, said: 'The project is very exciting for Watford and we are delighted that we have been selected to trial the new concept. It provides us with an opportunity to broaden our offer for current customers as well as providing an opportunity to attract new ones. The little Waitrose at John Lewis will also contribute significantly to the local community with the creation of 30 new roles.'

Work on the project is due to start in April this year and the 'little Waitrose at John Lewis' is due to open in June. John Lewis Watford will remain open throughout the works and activity will be carefully managed to minimise any impact on customers.

Notes to editors

The John Lewis Partnership - The John Lewis Partnership operates 39 John Lewis shops across the UK (30 department stores and nine John Lewis at home),, 255 Waitrose supermarkets, 35 Waitrose convenience stores, and business to business contracts in the UK and abroad. The business has annual gross sales of over £9.5bn. It is the UK's largest example of worker co-ownership where all 84,700 staff are Partners in the business.

Waitrose - Waitrose, Britain's favourite supermarket*, has 290 shops in the UK and Channel Islands and is consistently achieving sales growth significantly ahead of the market**. Its strong performance has been driven by the success of the essential Waitrose range, Brand Price Match, an unmatchable top tier of products and free delivery for online shopping, as well as a long term commitment to sourcing the UK's finest local and regional foods. Waitrose combines the convenience of a supermarket with the expertise and service of a specialist shop - dedicated to offering quality food that has been responsibly sourced combined with high standards of customer service. (

* Which? Annual Supermarket Satisfaction Survey 2013, Favourite Food & Grocery Retailer at Verdict's annual Consumer Satisfaction Awards; Favourite Supermarket at Good Housekeeping Awards
** Kantar World panel

John Lewis - John Lewis, 'Britain's favourite electricals retailer 2012'* and 'Best Multichannel Retailer 2012' **, typically stocks more than 350,000 separate lines in its department stores. The website stocks over 200,000 products focused on the best of fashion, beauty, home and giftware and electrical items including online exclusives. is consistently ranked one of the top online shopping destinations in the UK. ( John Lewis Insurance offers a range of comprehensive insurance products - home, car, wedding and event, travel and pet insurance and life cover - delivering the usual values of expertise, trust and customer service expected from the John Lewis brand.

* Verdict Consumer Satisfaction Index, April 2012
** PayPal etail Awards 2012

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little Waitrose at John Lewis

  • Its 'essential Waitrose', range provides hundreds of everyday shopping items at everyday, affordable prices.
  • It champions British produce, for example, 100 per cent of Waitrose fresh chicken, beef, pork, milk, eggs and cream are British.
  • Offering a range of high quality produce, the shop will focus on food to eat now, food to take home for later and everyday items:
    Food to eat now: such as bread straight from the oven and the retailer's range of 'food to go' that includes sandwiches, salads, deli products and individually wrapped cakes.
  • Food to take home and eat later: a focus on ingredients and fresh foods, such as meat, fish and loose vegetables - perfect for an evening meal. Or alternatively ready-made solutions such as Menu From Waitrose - restaurant-style dishes created by some of the nation's best chefs.
  • Everyday items: the retailer's ranges such as essential Waitrose, as well as other household items such as health and beauty, cleaning products, cards and gift wraps.


For further information please contact:

Emma Moran
Senior Press Officer
John Lewis
Telephone: 020 7592 6058
Mobile: 07764 693503