Londoners can look for some up-market munchies while they fill up with petrol, starting this month at the Shell Sceptre on the Dome roundabout Watford and right after that at Shell Bayswater. In a move to expand its territory and customer base, Waitrose is partnering with Shell to improve customer satisfaction (and revenue) for both of the major UK brands.
The joint venture marks the first time Waitrose has offered a 24/7 facility to their customers, and it coincides with additional offers to encourage business for both Shell and Waitrose, such as a discount coupon for Shell petrol given to customers at Waitrose supermarket checkouts. Both companies have expressed great expectations for the new venture.
Shell will retain ownership of its petrol stations, with Waitrose employees taking over the operation of petrol pumps as well as manning the food market. There will be about 30 employees at each location, and about 2500 lines of both ready-to-eat foods and foods for later as well as basic grocery essentials and ‘impulse’ items. There will also be self-serve hot coffee, soup and pastries, plus made-in-branch baguettes.
Assuming the response is positive in the London markets, Little Waitrose, as the new sites are called, will be opening many more branches across the UK in the near future. Waitrose Managing Director Mark Price said that they have a winning combination that should appeal to a lot of customers who don’t have easy access to their large supermarkets.