Waitrose Web to offer last-minute holidays

Waitrose, the upmarket supermarket, is entering the last-minute deals market through its Website. It has forged a number of deals with suppliers, including British Airways.

This will be the first time that the airline has agreed to offer last-minute holiday deals through a supermarket Website.

Waitrose is to sell a range of holidays provided by BA’s Travel Shop holiday retail arm, including several exclusive late availability deals, as part of a new “last moment” section on its waitrose.com Web portal.

The site, which launches this week, will feature a 14-night honeymoon break in the Virgin Islands and an 11-night tour of South Africa as the first of a number of deals aimed at tapping into the popularity of last-minute sales on the Internet.

Waitrose has signed up with an unnamed competitor of market leader lastminute.com to develop its late deal offer, which will also include late theatre ticket bookings, same-day delivery of flowers, as well as wine and hotel offers.

In a separate deal, the supermarket has also signed up the Landmark Trust and an unnamed international hotel chain to develop last-minute sales for the new site.

Waitrose marketing director Mark Price, who says Waitrose’s parent company the John Lewis Partnership has pledged a massive sum to back Waitrose’s Web offer, expects to announce four more e-commerce sites in the next two months.

He says: “Late availability deals will now be pulled into a new central last moment area. We eventually aim to offer a one-stop shop.”

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