Waitrose has broken away from its traditional quality-over-price roots for the first time with a trial of a low-price food range to pull in new shoppers.
The range, which it describes as “inexpensive branded lines”, is being tested in selected stores. However, director of buying Angela Megson said it would review the outcome of the trial near the end of this month. “We’ll determine whether these items appeal to a sufficient number of customers.”
The lines include items such as plum tomatoes, orange juice, toiletries and a 21p can of baked beans. Megson ruled out taking the price point lower to compete more directly with other supermarkets. “The current products offer a lower retail price, an acceptable level of quality and allow us to make a satisfactory return,” she added.
Waitrose’s current marketing slogan - Quality Food, Honestly Priced - reflects the retailer’s point of difference from the big four supermarkets. However, the trial of a low-priced range would bring it in line with the ‘good, better, best’ price architecture employed by its rivals.
A spokeswoman said the launch did not represent any change in strategy. “We simply want to broaden the range of choice in some branches.”