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Spotlight On: Waitrose

post-image 23rd August 2016

Waitrose was originally founded in 1904 by three men, Arthur Rose, Wallace Waite and David Taylor. They operated under the title Waite, Rose & Taylor until they changed their name to Waitrose following the departure of David Taylor in 1906 from the business.

4911161694_92218fa5d0_zBy the 1930’s, Waitrose comprised 10 branches and 160 employees. This level of success attracted the attention of the John Lewis Partnership, who bought the company in 1937, and put Waitrose in charge of their first ‘supermarket’ store on Southend High Street in 1951.

Four years later, the first branded ‘Waitrose’ supermarket came into being in Streatham. This marked the beginning of a gradual expansion, with the company opening stores across the Home Counties. At the turn of the century Waitrose expanded northwards into northern England and Scotland, purchasing stores from food giants The Co-Operative Group and Morrison’s in order to do so. As well as having a reputation for peddling the more refined fare on the high street (see this article from the Telegraph) Waitrose are also known for being the first supermarket to sell organic food and for their history of charitable donation via their Community Matters scheme, through which they have donated £14 million to various projects and charities since the scheme’s launch in 2008.

Currently, Waitrose has 350 branches in the UK, and the 11674202394_20a7bea2f6_zBrand has moved into online home delivery. One of their most recent stores is their ‘Little Waitrose’ branch in South Bank Tower. Since moving in, they have become a member of the South Bank BID.

For more information, click here to see the Waitrose website.