Shell and Waitrose have announced a two-site trial of a new joint format that will see Little Waitrose convenience stores on Shell forecourts later this month.
Both sites are being redeveloped now ready for the opening of the 1,600sq ft shops at Shell Sceptre, on the Dome roundabout in Watford, and Shell Bayswater, London shortly afterwards.
Shell will continue to own the sites and Waitrose will take over the operation of each, acting as Shell’s agents for the sale of fuels. This will be the first 24/7 operated and managed operation for Waitrose.
The announcement of the trial coincides with recently launched joint marketing activity between Shell and Waitrose aimed at offering great value for customers. This includes a 5ppl on 25 litres of Shell fuel coupon given to Waitrose customers at supermarket checkouts.
John Bullock, executive vice president for Shell Global Retail Business, said: “We are excited about entering into this alliance with Waitrose. We see this as the beginning of a strong relationship between two established brands in the UK market, exploring opportunities to bring both brands together for the benefit of Shell and Waitrose customers.”
The new format will offer the existing range of fuels and lubricants and other forecourt services with the addition of a Little Waitrose offering around 2,500 lines covering food for now, food for later, and store cupboard essentials as well as traditional forecourt and impulse lines.
There will also be a self-serve hot coffee and hot food offer as well as made-in-branch baguettes. The hot food offer will include porridge, soup, hot wraps and hot pastries. There will be a range of pre-packed salads, fruit and vegetables and a gift section.
Waitrose currently has 23 convenience branches. The Little Waitrose name was first used in January 2011 with the opening of a convenience branch on the Old Brompton Road – the name is now used for all new convenience branches.
Mark Price, managing director of Waitrose, said: “Bringing Waitrose to more people in more places is a big priority for us and so I’m very pleased to be embarking on this new pilot with Shell. I think the combination of their offer and Little Waitrose will hold a lot of appeal for customers.”