Waitrose & Partners to treble online operations

Waitrose logo
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Waitrose & Partners has signed an agreement with Today Development Partners (TDP) to help treble the size of its online operations over the next three years.

Waitrose & Partners wants to turn its current online grocery service into a £1bn business by 2022. To do this, it is working with TDP to develop three state-of-the-art automated customer fulfilment centres, one of which will be based in North London.

Asda now UK's second largest grocer

Asda shopping basket

UK supermarkets saw their sales grow over the 12 week period to 24 March, except for Sainsbury's and Morrisons which both had slight sales drops, according to Kantar, publishing its latest sector report.

Aldi sales grew 10.6% with London its fastest growing region. More people are now visiting Aldi than Morrisons.

While Asda's sales grew only 0.1%, it has crept up to become Britain's second largest retailer.

Here's how market share now looks for the grocers:

  • Tesco 27.4%
  • Asda 15.4%
  • Sainsbury's 15.3%
  • Morrisons 10.3%
  • Aldi 8%
  • Co-op 6.1%
  • Lidl 5.6%
  • Waitrose 5%

Waitrose testing

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Discounting squeezes John Lewis profits

Today Programme

BBC Radio 4

Shoppers in front of 'sale' sign
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Looking back at Christmas trading, John Lewis Partnership, which owns the department store chain and Waitrose, has had a successful period with sales rising across the group.

But chairman Sir Charlie Mayfield tells the Today programme: "It is a tough market, no question, and there is a lot of discounting so we had to deal with that."

It means that many retailers' profits will be squeezed, including at the John Lewis Partnership

Sir Charlie says: "We said in June, we said in September and we are saying again today that we are continuing to expect profits to be lower for the whole year. We are going to see profit growth at Waitrose so we're pleased about that but overall with discounting and some of our costs are up as well, we're investing a lot in IT and preparing for the future.

"These are difficult times and of course it does have an affect on profitability."

Waitrose sales fizz up 7.4%

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New Year's Eve helped Waitrose to a 7.4% rise in sales last week, compared with the same week a year earlier.

Champagne and sparkling wines sales grew by 48% and 27% while party food sales climbed 86% at the John Lewis-owned supermarket chain.

Spirit sales were also strong, the retailer reported, with liqueurs up 45%, imported whiskey up 38%, Tequila up 37%, Cognac up 36%, vermouth up 34% and gins up by more than 31%.

Don't mention the price war

Tesco branch
Steve Dresser

The UK's biggest supermarkets have launched a range of price cuts.

Earlier today Morrisons said it would cut prices by an average of 20% on 935 products, including tinned tomatoes, cereals and multivitamins.

Then Tesco said it was cutting the price of hundreds of products this month in some cases by more than 50%.

Sainsbury started its New Year price promotion last Wednesday.

John Lewis-owned Waitrose also has some deep discounts on offer, with prices down by more than 30% on a range of goods, from tea to toothbrushes.

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