Waitrose has struck a deal with motorway services operator Welcome Break to open two food shops at its sites.

The 2,500 sq ft shops will open in Oxford Services on the M40 on May 1 and at South Mimms, Hertfordshire on the M25 on May 25.

The stores will be the smallest in the Waitrose portfolio and operate from 7am until 10pm. They will stock sandwiches and drinks, alongside ready meals and other evening meals.

Waitrose managing director Mark Price said: “This move into franchising and motorway service areas builds on our recent ventures into other new formats such as Market Town and Convenience – all designed to provide flexibility around our growth ambitions and increase awareness of our brand.

“It’s a challenging economic environment, but we continue to grow our share of regular visitors and our 200th store is about to open in Islington. With the recent launch of essential Waitrose, we’ve never offered better value for money. This is a very exciting time for Waitrose.”

Welcome Break has 24 sites across the UK and Waitrose will roll-out to a “high proportion” of those locations if the trial is successful.