Waitrose to open 20 convenience stores

Waitrose is ramping up its convenience store network and plans to open 20 stores under its Little Waitrose sub brand by the end of 2012.

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The planned new branches will be within London and the M25 area, where Waitrose is also ramping up its online grocery service following the relaunch of its Waitrose.com website and the end of a deal with Ocado that prevented the supermarket from delivering within the area.

The supermarket claims it will be the largest number of branches opened in one year since the chain started in 1904.

The expansion follows a trial of the Little Waitrose sub brand in a convenience store in South Kensington earlier this year.

It Waitrose says the sub brand has been developed to help differentiate the convenience offer from its conventional supermarkets.

Waitrose also plans to open two full size supermarkets in the capital by the end of 2011.

Waitrose managing director, Mark Price, says: “London is an important part of our heritage so this is another exciting milestone for our business. It demonstrates our ambition to continue increasing our presence and improving our accessibility to those who wish to shop with us.”

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