Press releases

First ever 'little Waitrose at John Lewis' opens

Thursday 20 June 2013

The 'little Waitrose at John Lewis Watford' opened its doors to customers for the first time today.

The new shop, which represents a £2 million investment by the retailer and has created 30 jobs in the local area, builds on the established little Waitrose format and will enable customers to pick up Waitrose products whilst shopping at the John Lewis Watford department store.

In just 10 weeks, 5,500 sq ft of back of house space has been transformed into a 'little Waitrose at John Lewis' shop.

The shop, which is run by John Lewis Partners especially for the John Lewis customer, features a bakery counter that serves bread and viennoiserie products fresh from the oven, alongside individually wrapped cakes and pastries. A key point of differentiation is the meat and fish counter manned by specialists in the shop who can offer expert advice to customers.

The food offer is 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. 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.

The opening follows yesterday's win for John Lewis at the Which? Awards where the business achieved the accolade of Best Retailer.

Andy Street, managing director, John Lewis said: 'We are committed to making the shopping experience as seamless as possible. By working closely with Waitrose, our customers will now be able to buy products from both brands in a convenient and efficient way. The little Waitrose at John Lewis shop is a brand new concept for the business and we'll be looking closely at how it is received by shoppers in Watford before considering how it could be introduced at other shops across the UK.'

Rob Collins, retail director, Waitrose said: 'Since its launch two years ago the little Waitrose brand has provided us with greater flexibility in bringing our offer to new audiences as well as building on our reputation for quality. The arrival of little Waitrose at John Lewis Watford is the latest example of how we aim to respond to our customers' needs, ensuring they not only have access to our ranges and services, but can shop as conveniently as possible whether they are doing a top up shop or just picking up a quick snack. There are still many parts of the country where customers cannot access the Waitrose brand easily and convenience is integral to unlocking much of that opportunity.'

To officially open the little Waitrose at John Lewis Watford, a ribbon was cut by representatives from the three local organisations the shop is supporting as part of its charitable giving scheme, Community Matters; Herts Inclusive Theatre, The Cure Parkinson's Trust and Herts Mind Network.

little Waitrose at John Lewis Watford will be open Monday to Friday from 9am until 6pm, with late night opening until 9pm on Thursdays, Saturday 9am until 7pm and Sunday from 10.30am until 5pm (including Sunday browse time from 10.30am until 11am).

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),, 292 Waitrose shops, 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.

John Lewis - John Lewis, 'Retailer of the Year 2013'* 'The Nation's Best Retailer'** and 'Multichannel Retailer of the Year 2013' *, 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.

*Oracle Retail Week Awards 2013
** Verdict Consumer Satisfaction Awards 2013
You can follow John Lewis on the following social media channels:

Waitrose - Waitrose, Britain's favourite supermarket*, has 292 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

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 (Branches and Retail Development)
Telephone: 0207 592 6058
Mobile: 07764 693503