By Gemma Taylor - Upmarket grocer Waitrose has struck a deal with a premium Spanish retailer to sell the Duchy Originals range in its stores.
El Corte Inglés, said to be the biggest department store group in Europe, began stocking the range at its Alicante store in June and will extend to a total of 50 stores across all regions of Spain by the end of the year.
Seriously From Waitrose, its deluxe indulgent range, will also be available in two trial stores.
This is the first deal that the grocer has made with a European multiple and will see the department store offering quintessentially British products such as tea, shortbread biscuits and preserves.
The products will be merchandised in their own ‘from Waitrose’ branded area within the store and the move has been welcomed by Director of Marketing of Food at El Cote Ingles, Jose Luis Pascual.
“The relationship with Waitrose is a new opportunity to expand and enrich our range of quality organic products,” Pacual explained.
“Duchy Originals and Seriously are two strong brands which fit the El Corte Inglés commitment to product innovation and quality.
“In our Gourmet Club and Gourmet Experience format, which combines wine tasting with the sale of delicatessen products, we have exclusive brands which offer differentiation and allow us to meet the needs of our customers.”
This announcement comes as Waitrose reported a 9.7 per cent total sales increase last week compared to the same period last year. As food sales continue to do well during a turbulent time for other sectors, the supermarket chain stated that sales of fish and seafood performed strongly, including pre-packed fish which rose by 31 per cent, and seafood by 38 per cent.
Some 17 categories grew in sales by more than ten per cent as sales in ambient food rose as families stocked up for holidays at home or abroad.
Rupert Ellwood, Manager of International Growth, hopes that expanding the company’s international presence will aid sales still further.
“Expanding our business into Europe supports our long term growth plans to make the Waitrose brand accessible to more people in more places,” he said.
“Duchy From Waitrose is a unique British brand and our relationship with world renowned retailers like El Corte Inglés gives us the opportunity to grow the brand internationally.
“We hope to develop further long standing supply partnerships across Europe.”