Waitrose has signed a surprise deal with supermarket rival Booths to share cost data on a range of products.

Booths, which enjoys a similarly upmarket reputation to its larger partner, will co-operate with Waitrose on sourcing a number of products in a bid to lower costs.

The move follows the decision by Booths in July to end its buying alliance with wholesaler Nisa-Today’s.

Last month Booths waded into the 50p price war by slashing the cost of selected fresh goods, emulating the likes of Asda and Morrisons at its 26 stores in the north of England.

“There are already many similarities between the Waitrose and Booths brands in terms of our focus on food quality, the provenance of our products and customer service,” said Waitrose managing director Mark Price.

“This buying alliance will benefit customers of both Waitrose and Booths for the long term by ensuring that prices within both shops are highly competitive through greater supply efficiencies.”

Booths chairman Edwin Booth added: “Booths has a history of having sourced an outstanding range of quality food and drink for over 160 years. We are looking forward to the alliance between Waitrose and Booths enabling us to continue to trade strongly to the benefit of our customers.”