Upmarket supermarket Waitrose is to launch a gardening and floristry range as it looks to become “a serious player” in the burgeoning market, it has been announced today.
Introducing a horticulture range of 6,000 products in shops and online, known respectively as Waitrose Flower Garden and Waitrosegarden.com,. the grocer aims to “significantly” increase its six per cent share of the horticulture market and has inducted gardening expert Alan Titchmarsh to aid the move.
Launching in all core stores by mid-April, the new range will see 41 shops dedicate at least 120 sq ft of outdoor space each to housing the products, including a garden shed offering plants and gardening accessories.
Following his work with the retailer earlier this month which saw him seek to raise awareness of the importance of British agriculture, Titchmarsh will offer expert tips on gardening via Waitrose’s website, appearing in ‘How To’ videos and giving advice in a monthly e-newsletter containing exclusive, seasonal content.
Waitrose’s Marketing Director Rupert Thomas said: “The nation’s favourite gardener Alan Titchmarsh will provide invaluable tips and, combined with the excellent service you can expect from our Partners who have received extra training in this area, customers can feel confident having a go at cultivating that empty patch of outdoor space or trying something new to brighten up their garden.”
As sales continue to grow at the chain, Waitrose has been keen to build its offering and last week, John Lewis announced a £2 million investment in opening a Little Waitrose at its Watford store to allow customers to purchase Waitrose products while shopping at the department store.
Noting that gardening was the most popular hobby for Waitrose shoppers after cooking, Thomas commented: “We are pleased to be able to offer such an inspirational range of floristry and gardening products.
“This will make us a serious player in what is already a hugely successful category for us.”