Waitrose is increasing its advertising spend by 50% to £39m this year as it aims to make the brand accessible to more consumers.
The plans are part of a move by Waitrose to expand the brand’s reach both in the UK and abroad. Last week, it announced it had signed a deal to open its first overseas stores in United Arab Emirates next year.
Waitrose buying director Richard Hodgson says that as it starts its ambitious drive abroad, it will also push a “broader brand interest in Waitrose” in the UK.
The push behind the brand will include increased TV advertising, which will be developed by its ad agency Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy, which retained the account following a six-way pitch in December.
Hodgson, the former marketing director at Asda, adds: “Waitrose is an unknown quantity to many people across this country, and our new advertising will try to address that. I intend to make the brand accessible to more people.”
Hodgson was brought in by former Waitrose managing director Stephen Esom last year. Esom later left the company to join Marks & Spencer. Manning Gottlieb OMD handles the planning and buying.
Waitrose has a 4% share of the UK grocery retail market with over 187 stores nationwide, but it plans to open further stores. It has announced positive figures for the Christmas and New Year period. It has reported a 6.1% year-on-year increase in sales for the five weeks to January 5.
Charles Mayfield, chairman of John Lewis Partnership which owns Waitrose, says he is pleased with the performance “in the context of demanding conditions”.