Upmarket grocer Waitrose is to launch an assault on the capital as it concentrates all of its convenience store openings on London in the next year.
The upmarket grocer, which has 36 Little Waitrose stores, will double its existing presence in the convenience sector in inner London to 20 stores in the next year creating 700 jobs in the process.
The expansion represents the largest number of new stores the business has ever opened in inner London within one year.
Waitrose has yet to confirm the locations of the new London stores with the exception of Vauxhall, which will open in the spring. It will also open a supermarket which will open in Greenwich.
Waitrose first entered the convenience sector in 2008, but only launched the Little Waitrose format in January 2011 at Old Brompton Road.
All the major grocers are vying for stores in London to tap into the lucrative convenience market. Morrisons is looking to increase its presence in London and the South East and has already acquired former Jessops stores for its M Local format.
Waitrose director of development Nigel Keen said: “London is an important part of our heritage and this another major milestone for our business.
“It demonstrates our ambition to continue increasing our presence and improving our accessibility to those in the capital who wish to shop with us.”