Waitrose motors into six new Welcome Break sites
Within the next four months, Waitrose will be opening six new branches at Welcome Break sites across the UK as the supermarket accelerates its expansion plans with the motorway services operator.
The new branches follow a deal struck by Waitrose and Welcome Break earlier in the year which extended the successful franchise partnership for a further ten years. The six new stores will create 120 jobs and mean Waitrose now has 25 branches at Welcome Break sites.
Waitrose and Welcome Break have been steadily rolling out new branches across the UK since its partnership began in 2009, and the pair have committed to opening more Waitrose shops in order to satisfy customer demand.
The next branch will open this week and is positioned on the forecourt at Welcome Break Hopwood Park on the M42 near Birmingham. The store will operate alongside the Waitrose site in the main Welcome Break complex. Five further branches will open in the Midlands and the North, and the first Waitrose at a Welcome Break site in Scotland will also open in Gretna Green, Dumfries on the M74 later this month.
The Waitrose at Welcome Break format has proved very successful, with sales up by 17 per cent compared to last year. Waitrose at Welcome Break branches offer in excess of 1,500 lines which has nearly doubled since launch, with the majority of branches operating from 7am until 10pm.
David Morton, Director, Business to Business, Waitrose, says, 'Our partnership with Welcome Break has proved a real success with customers and these new branches will give us the opportunity to increase our presence in other areas where customer demand is high. As these new stores are predominantly in the midlands and the north of England, our recently opened distribution centre in Leyland will also help to support our growth in the area. We're also delighted to open the first Waitrose at a Welcome Break in Scotland. All the new stores will continue to offer customers the convenience and quality you'd expect, with an even greater choice of products.'
Rod McKie, Chief Executive, Welcome Break, says,: 'The Welcome Break and Waitrose relationship has come a long way since 2009. Customers travelling on the motorway no longer view convenience stores as an option but more of a necessity. To be partnered with what we consider to be the best convenience supermarket offer out there is fantastic for our customers. In addition to these six new stores, we envisage opening a further six stores in the next 12 months.'
Since Waitrose and Welcome Break opened the first branch at Oxford services on the M40, the in-store ranges and promotions available to customers has expanded, in addition to seeing significant growth in core products such as sandwiches.
Waitrose branches at Welcome Break sites sell a broad range of gifting, outdoor living and horticulture products, offering convenience en route for customers and a wide selection for impulse purchases. The branches also sell a growing number of branded products which is encouraging customers to do a wider shop.
All non-management employees at Waitrose at Welcome Break branches are Partners, or co-owners, in the John Lewis Partnership. This entitles them to have a say in how the business is run and a share in the retailer's annual profits.
For further information please contact:
Waitrose Press Office
Mobile: 07506 452222