The refit of the 15,000 sg ft Marylebone store took two weeks but is the culmination of 18 months' work.
The new design is partly the result of a one-week fact-finding tour of the US and Europe by current MD Mark Price, former MD Steven Esom and head of merchandising Diana Hunter. Its fruit and vegetable department takes cues from US stores such as Citarella's; the cheese counters have been modelled on those used in France; the meat counter borrows a design from Japan and the health and beauty section uses energy-saving panels from Switzerland.
Waitrose also video-tracked more than 2,500 customers in store to help improve the layout. As a result it has put the wine section in the centre of the store next to the ready meals and developed a rail for customers to rest their basket on when visiting the meat, cheese and fish counters. The store stocks around 25,000 lines including 200 new products, many sourced from local suppliers.