By Ben Sillitoe - 02:35PM - Fri 28th January 2011
Upmarket grocer Waitrose’s expansion into the convenience sector continued this week with the opening of a new store on Old Brompton Street in London.
Dubbed Little Waitrose, the outlet will act as a trial to gauge consumer opinion towards this potential new sub-brand.
The early signs appear to be good, with people flocking to the new shop in the capital’s busy shopping district of South Kensington.
Waitrose Director of Store Development Diana Hunter, said: “We are really excited by the reaction we have already had to our Little Waitrose shop and if our customers continue to respond as they have done in the last 24 hours, we will certainly be introducing the brand to more of our smaller convenience shops.”
At 3,000 sq ft, only the name is different to the retailer’s previously opened convenience stores in Cambridge and Manchester.
If the London venture is successful, however, the two aforementioned shops will be rebranded accordingly.
Much has been made of the grocer’s expansion into convenience, with more than 40 smaller format stores planned to open by the end of 2011.
Last August the company recruited property agent King Sturge to find and acquire suburban, town and city centre sites of between 3,000 and 7,000 sq ft to help with the new strategy.