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Waitrose develops new store format to meet future shopping needs

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Shoppers can now try on their click and collect orders, learn cooking skills and use tablet computers to place online orders in Waitrose’s latest new format store.

Mark Price, managing director of Waitrose , says the new Food & Home format represents the supermarket’s strategic response to the way food retailing is changing. The first has opened in Salisbury following the redevelopment of an existing store.

“Food retail is undergoing huge structural change – driven by lifestyle changes and an increased use of technology,” said Price. “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.”

The Salisbury Food & Home 55,000 sq ft store features a dedicated collection point for orders placed on Waitrose and John Lewis websites as well as Waitrose Entertaining orders. It includes changing rooms where customers can try on orders before they leave the shop, introduced in response to the fact that 45% of John Lewis click and collect orders are fashion orders. That total increases during price match periods. The number of John Lewis orders collected in Waitrose branches are up by 75% in the year to date.

Other changes that reflect customers’ increased use of multichannel shopping include customer order tablets to place online orders in-store and the creation of a new building to house a larger delivery fleet. A new cookery school, Waitrose’s second after its Finchley Road, London, store, reflects a move to augment the in-store customer experience. Up to 16 students at a time will be able to take courses and one-hour masterclasses. The store also features Waitrose’s largest café to date, with 150 covers spread across indoor and outdoor seating.

Commenting on the new changing room service, Darryl Adie, managing director of multichannel consultancy Ampersand Commerce said: “Harvey Nichols successfully launched a Click & Try service earlier this year, offering a brand new multichannel experience that still communicates its brand values of luxury and service. This concept will work well for Waitrose given the brand loyalty that it attracts and growing consumer demand for integrated in-store service and online convenience.

“Having an in-store collection facility will also encourage further in-store sales as customers continue to browse after picking up their items. Offering this type of service is further recognition by a major retail player that technology is changing shopping habits and for most, having a multichannel strategy is the best way to drive sales growth.”

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