Department store John Lewis has today announced the launch of a food offer which will allow customers at its Watford store to purchase Waitrose products while shopping in-store.
The trial of the new food concept will involve a £2 million investment which will see the 5,500 sq ft back of house space on the second floor of the retailer’s Watford store converted into a ‘Little Waitrose at John Lewis’.
Focusing primarily on core groceries such as fresh fruit and deli products, the shop will also offer ready meals and quick snacks as well as feature a bakery counter.
John Lewis’ Managing Director Andy Street explained the reason behind the development, commenting: “The success of our Foodhalls at Oxford Street and Bluewater has taught us how to deliver a food offer in an inspiring and accessible way.
“This new little Waitrose at John Lewis Watford underlines our continuing commitment to invest and innovate in our shops and is a great example of the John Lewis and Waitrose brands working together to provide powerful and compelling destinations for our customers to visit.”
Work is set to begin next month at the Watford site, which will remain open for business throughout the work, and the Waitrose offering is set to be fully operational in June.
Last week, John Lewis department stores reported a 13.5 per cent increase in total sales over its full year and highlighted plans for further expansion amid such ongoing success.
In the financial year to January 26th 2013, Waitrose saw gross sales jump 6.7 per cent to £5.66 million and announced plans for the opening of a further eight core branches as well as up to 10 Little Waitrose branches in the year ahead.
John Lewis Watford’s Managing Director Jonathan Field said: “The project is very exciting for Watford and we are delighted that we have been selected to trial the new concept.
“It provides us with an opportunity to broaden our offer for current customers as well as providing an opportunity to attract new ones.
“The little Waitrose at John Lewis will also contribute significantly to the local community with the creation of 30 new roles.”