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.
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