Waitrose has unveiled ambitious plans to expand north of the border after releasing impressive full-year results.
This week the retailer entered Scotland for the first time with the acquisition of two stores in Edinburgh from Somerfield.
MD Steven Esom said that the acquisitions were a natural extension to the Waitrose brand and just the start of its plans for Scotland. He said the chain was eyeing further sites and was keen to open a store in Glasgow.
“We are actively looking at other sites,” Esom admitted. “We would love to be in Glasgow.”
Waitrose has also bought three more stores from Somerfield in Balham and the Barbican, London, and Buxton, Derbyshire - its first store in the county.The acquisitions come as its full-year results to January 28 showed profit up 19% to £231m on sales up 13% to £3.3bn. Like-for-like sales were a market-busting 4%.
However, Esom said that the store acquisitions would mean that the expansion of its online delivery service Waitrose Deliver would remain on hold. Esom stressed however: “Waitrose Deliver is doing well outside the major conurbations.”
He added: “We are also conducting a major refreshment programme to offer customers a modern shopping environment. Store extensions are also planned at eight stores.”
Meanwhile, Waitrose is to run a TV campaign this month focusing on the John Lewis Partnership’s unique Partner structure, putting store workers “at the heart of the business”.
Beth Brooks