INTERNATIONAL NEWS: Waitrose Stepping Up C-Store Expansion

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INTERNATIONAL NEWS: Waitrose Stepping Up C-Store Expansion

BRACKNELL, Berkshire -- Supermarket chain Waitrose plans to step up its growth into the convenience store market, including the development of new formats and channels that will dramatically increase its presence in various United Kingdom markets, reported.

Waitrose made successful moves into new formats with stores of 5,000 to 7,000 square feet. The first of its convenience branches, Trinity Square, Nottingham, opened December 2008 followed by Clifton, Bristol, in March 2009. Both are performing well and two more will come online soon -- Crouch End in North London, on Oct. 8, and Oxted, Surrey, in early December, according to the Propertyweek report.

In the new year, Waitrose said it plans to trial smaller, 2,000- to 4,000-square-foot convenience shops, which will give the company overall potential for 300 convenience branches.

Waitrose is setting out this plan to be accessible to increased numbers of customers, having found that 6.5 million potential customers are unable easily to access Waitrose now.

Managing Director Mark Price said in the report: "We've broadened the appeal of our brand with innovations like Essential Waitrose, the 'Seriously …' range of indulgent cakes and desserts, Duchy Originals from Waitrose, new non-food ranges, and by being the first U.K. supermarket to get rid of delivery charges for online grocery shopping -- and we're seeing real sales momentum as a result. Now, by opening up these new channels and formats, we'll be making Waitrose accessible to more customers in more places."

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