Waitrose Agrees First Franchise Deal with Welcome Break – Retailer to Reach 9 Million New Customers with Motorway Service Area Stores. Waitrose has today announced another milestone in its growth ambitions through its first ever franchise deal with leading motorway services operator, Welcome Break.
The grocery division of the John Lewis Partnership, renowned for its quality food and service, is to open two 2,500sq ft food shops at Welcome Break motorway service areas.
The smallest ever Waitrose stores are set to make a big impact by reaching up to nine million motorists and creating 50 new jobs. The two stores, which will offer over 850 lines, will operate from 7am until 10pm, 365 days a year.
The first shop will open on May 1st at Oxford Services¹ on the M40, one of Europe’s busiest motorway service stations with the second opening at South Mimms on the M25 on May 15th.
The deal follows the retailer’s announcement in January that up to 4,000 new Partners were to join Waitrose with the opening of 22 new stores in 2009.
Waitrose Managing Director, Mark Price, says:
“This move into franchising and motorway service areas builds on our recent ventures into other new formats such as Market Town and Convenience – all designed to provide flexibility around our growth ambitions and increase awareness of our brand.
“It’s a challenging economic environment, but we continue to grow our share of regular visitors* and our 200th store is about to open in Islington. With the recent launch of essential Waitrose, we’ve never offered better value for money. This is a very exciting time for Waitrose.”
Welcome Break Chief Executive, Rod McKie, adds:
“This is an exciting opportunity for the company to partner with a quality food retailer. We are delighted that Waitrose has chosen Welcome Break for its franchise operation in the UK and are looking forward to opening the two stores in May.
“Welcome Break motorway service areas already feature leading brands within the UK, including Burger King, Kentucky Fried Chicken and WH Smith. The addition of Waitrose will enable us to further satisfy the requirements of the travelling motorist.”
Waitrose Commercial Director, Richard Hodgson, says:
“We plan to deliver a new dimension in motorway hospitality – the same quality experience people expect from Waitrose with excellent customer service.
“In addition to everyday items such as sandwiches, salads and drinks, customers will also be able to carry out a “top up” shop on items such as bread, milk and ready meals.
“The Welcome Break deal is already a positive impact on our business partners. For example, our sandwich supplier is investing over £3m in developing its site to meet the increased demand.”
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