Waitrose today opened its first train station store in London’s King’s Cross and says it sees a “huge opportunity” to target travel consumers.
Trading under its convenience store format, Little Waitrose, the 2,500 sq ft store is the grocer’s smallest shop in its estate.
Waitrose director of convenience Jackie Wharton said of consumers at transport hubs: “This ‘transumer’ is a huge opportunity.
“At King’s Cross we expect footfall to be strong, so we want it to be a good experience for customers, which will then help the brand to travel further [across the UK].”
Its offer is tailored to the 20 million regular commuters and travellers that pass through the station each year with Waitrose’s largest ever ‘food to go’ range at double the size of its usual offer for those customers who want to grab a sandwich, drink or snack for their journey.
There is also a wider meal offer for those commuters looking to top-up shop, with ready meals, salads and a small selection of fresh fruit, plus a bakery to add retail theatre.
Greetings cards, flowers, premium chocolates and wine are available as part of a gift offer. Meanwhile, for the first time Little Waitrose is also selling travel electricals such as adaptors and travel chargers.
Wharton said: There are commuters coming down regularly so we have a breakfast offer, while some might have the call from home to pick something up on the way back, so there is a chance to top up.
“But we have given the greatest space to ‘food to go’ and there is a focus on single-serve products.“
The store complements those Waitrose has in Welcome Break motorway service stations.
Waitrose is planning to open a second train station store at Manchester Piccadilly at the end of September. Meanwhile, it is scheduled to launch a full-sized supermarket in King’s Cross next year. It will be seven times the size of the Little Waitrose there and will house the grocer’s second cookery school.