Waitrose responds to changing shopping habits
Multi-million pound investment in new concept 'Food & Home' shop
Waitrose has reopened its Salisbury branch with a raft of innovative new features. The shop has been designed as an early response to changing shopping habits, ensuring that future retail space is designed to offer customers experiences and services that they can't get online.
The 55K sq ft selling space, employing 550 Partners (staff), now includes a dedicated collection point for orders including Waitrose.com, John Lewis Click & Collect and Waitrose Entertaining.
The soft-seating area showing Waitrose TV includes the retailer's first fitting rooms for customers to try on orders before leaving the shop.
The new trial concept is a response to the fact that fashion orders make up 45% of John Lewis Click & Collect orders, and more during price match periods. This year to date total John Lewis orders collected in Waitrose have increased by 75%.
To accommodate increased orders, expected to build to 2000 per week by the second half of the 2015 financial year, Waitrose has built a separate building with a 20 van delivery fleet.
Second Waitrose Cookery School
A 1000 sq ft School, housed inside the shop, will be the retailer's second Cookery School and the first outside of London.
Capable of tutoring 16 students at a time, the School will offer best-selling courses from the retailer's Finchley Road (London) Cookery School, including bread-making, knife skills and world street food. It will also introduce a series of new one-hour mini master classes.
In-store experience and hospitality offer
With people increasingly desiring shopping to be more of an event, Waitrose Salisbury will continue to develop the retailer's focus on hospitality and experiential concepts.
These include a wine bar serving tapas, wines and local beers, the largest ever Waitrose café and opportunities to 'graze' around the shop. The shop will also trial a new-look fruit and vegetable section with market-feel wooden fixtures, seasonal displays and tasting pods. And TV screens around the shop will change throughout the day with the aim of inspiring customers around the shop.
Says Waitrose Managing Director Mark Price: 'Food retail is undergoing huge structural change – driven by lifestyle changes and an increased use of technology. It is essential that our shops are at the forefront of our strategic response to these changes, preparing us for the future of retail and retaining our leadership in innovation and customer service in the grocery sector.'
Notes to editors
- Salisbury first opened in 1997 as one of the largest Waitrose shops and one of the original Food & Home concept branches.
- It was refurbished and re-opened on Friday 14 November.
- Other new features at the shop include a juice and smoothie bar, grazing areas at the deli bar and bakery section, a new welcome desk with gift and flower wrapping service, new till systems, customer order tablets.
- The café (the retailer's largest, at 150 covers) has indoor and outdoor seating, as well as eating ‘zones’, for example with family seating or high bar with sockets for customers' phones/devices.
- Retained features include dry cleaning, petrol filling station, post office, horticulture pod.
- Waitrose has announced it will be opening a third cookery school in King's Cross next year as part of its development near the train station. The Finchley Road Waitrose Cookery School opened October 2010, when Waitrose became the first supermarket to launch its own cookery school.
Waitrose - the Nation's Favourite Supermarket¹ and winner of the BestSupermarket² and Best Food and Grocery Retailer³ awards - currently has 331 shops in England, Scotland, Wales and the Channel Islands, including 55 convenience branches, and another 28 shops at Welcome Break locations. It 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. Waitrose also exports its products to 50 countries worldwide and has seven shops in the Middle East. (www.waitrose.com)
¹ Conlumino Awards, 2014
² Good Housekeeping Best Supermarket 2014, Which? Best Supermarket 2014
³ Verdict Best Food and Grocery Retailer 2014
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