Shell to sell Waitrose food

Shell and Waitrose have announced a trial partnership that will see the supermarket’s food on sale at UK forecourts.

Waitrose sandwiches, snacks, and a small range of groceries will be offered alongside Shell’s current range at three outlets in the Birmingham area from this week.

The tie-up is part of a concerted effort by the upmarket grocer to crack the convenience sector, following deals with Welcome Break and Boots earlier this year.

Managing director Mark Price says: “There are still millions of customers without access to a local Waitrose and we want to explore all the possibilities for making our food available to more customers.”

Melanie Lane, Shell UK retail general manager, believes that the brands are complimentary.

“Both are high quality brands with heritage and this deal allows us each to concentrate on our own strengths,” she says.

The partnership follows an unsuccessful joint venture with Sainsburys, which saw the supermarket open convenience stores on Shell forecourts in 2003.

Waitrose is also looking to add to its three convenience stores and explore new formats and commercial director Richard Hodgson believes there is room for the company in the competitive convenience market.

“Generally customers have been prepared to compromise on quality in return for convenience, but we think that’s beginning to change,” he says.

He cites the success of the supermarket’s partnership with Welcome Break, with three new motorway locations opening this week, as proof of demand.

“This shows that travellers want quality food on the go,” he says.

Waitrose was recently ranked in the top 10 family brands in the UK.

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