Waitrose trials convenience food in Shell forecourts
January 1, 2010
Waitrose is selling its products in three Shell forecourt shops in a trial, further extending the premium UK retailer’s footprint in convenience.
Waitrose has already partnered with Welcome Break to open small shops at motorway services. Five sites were opened last year and there are plans for a further six stores in the New Year.
The Waitrose convenience products will be offered alongside Shell’s current shop assortment. If successful, the offer will be extended to a larger number of Shell service stations in 2010.
Both Shell and Waitrose said they see significant growth potential in the food-to-go and convenience sectors and believe the relationship offers a strong strategic fit for both parties.
Shell is a leading fuel retailer in the UK with over 900 sites serving thousands of customers each day.
Waitrose is Britain’s fastest-growing supermarket with 221 branches employing over 38,000 people.
The Waitrose range will include sandwiches, wraps and snacks, as well as a small selection of grocery items, ranging from bread and pasta to ready meals and toiletries.
Melanie Lane, Shell Retail UK retail general manager, said: “The Shell Waitrose relationship presents a very attractive offer for our customers. By bringing together Shell’s quality fuels and competitive pump prices with Waitrose’s quality convenience foods we can offer our customers an even greater choice.
“We think this offer will be particularly appealing to customers who spend a lot of time on the road but don’t want to compromise on taste, quality or healthier food choices.”
Mark Price, Waitrose managing director, said the venture widened access to the Waitrose brand: “We want to explore all the possibilities for making our food available to more customers,” he said.
Mark Price: increasing availability
“Our successful partnership with Welcome Break shows that customers don’t want to compromise on the quality of their food just because they are traveling. We are confident that customers at Shell forecourts will also appreciate being able to buy delicious Waitrose food while they are on the go.”
The trial builds on Waitrose’s plans to accelerate its presence in the convenience sector through new formats and channels. In 2009 Waitrose opened its first convenience store in Nottingham. Branches in Clifton (Bristol) and Crouch End (London) followed. The retailer said it has identified the potential for 100 locations for more branches of this format.
Waitrose said it also intends to trial a smaller convenience format with the potential for a further 200 shops over 10 years.
Waitrose: expanding in convenience
January 2010 Issue