Waitrose is to open a new concept store in Leeds next week with a homewares offer featuring products from sister chain John Lewis and other leading brands.
As well as the revamped homewares offer, the 30,000 sq ft store in the Meanwood district will feature a new-style cafe and a refreshed health and beauty area.
The homewares offer will cover about 8,000 sq ft. Waitrose already has a Food & Home concept in five stores but they are mainly out of town and carry only John Lewis non-food products, as opposed to other leading brands.
Waitrose managing director Mark Price described the store as “halfway between Waitrose Food & Home and a traditional supermarket”. He added: “We’ve given more space to homewares and have worked with John Lewis on the merchandising, look and feel. The Waitrose-sourced products are all complementary to the food shop, including kitchenware, homewares and some lines of toys and other children’s products.”
The store will also include a Boots health and beauty area, part of an ongoing trial Waitrose has with the retailer.
Waitrose reported gross sales up 11.3% to £2.42bn and food only like-for-like sales up by 3.9%, excluding petrol, in the half year to July 31. Operating profit increased 6.2% to £127.8m.
Price said: “We are four times ahead of the industry average on like-for-likes and, as our operating margin is strong, we are able to reinvest into growth of the business.”
Price is expecting like-for-like sales growth of about 4% for the rest of the year. He added that the two-year figures for Waitrose are strong, with sales up 11.3% in the first half of this year, and 8% for the first half last time. “We will finish the full year again at double-digit growth,” he added.
He said the campaign featuring celebrity chefs Delia Smith and Heston Blumenthal pulled in 370,000 more customer transactions in the first eight weeks.
The relaunched Duchy Originals from Waitrose range went into stores this month and about 200 products will be available by the end of the year.