Waitrose and Superquinn tie up

Waitrose has struck a joint trading agreement with Irish group Superquinn, enabling the John Lewis-owned grocer to sell its ready meals on the other side of the Irish Sea.

The deal echoes similar arrangements between Waitrose and Shoprite on the Isle of Man and Le Riche in the Channel Islands, but marks the food group's first foray into the Irish market.

Under the terms of the exclusive tie-up, 110 types of chilled Waitrose ready meals will go on sale in Superquinn's 19 stores. Superquinn will collect the products from Waitrose's distribution centre at Bracknell in Berkshire.

In turn, Waitrose will sell two mature Irish farmhouse cheeses, exclusive to the Irish retailer, at the deli counter in 44 of its 140 stores.

Waitrose managing director Steven Esom said: 'Waitrose and Superquinn make a good match. Each company likes the way that the other works. Superquinn has built its reputation on fresh food and customer service - an approach that we have found successful ourselves.'

Director of buying Angela Megson added that Waitrose will consider linking up with other retailers that share its philosophy. However, she said that the launch of the Waitrose brand in Ireland did not presage store openings there.

Waitrose would not disclose the likely value of the Superquinn deal.