Wallace Waite, David Taylor and Arthur Rose created Waitrose in 1904. The company was initially a single grocery store located in West London. In 1937, the company was purchased by the John Lewis Partnership (a major British retail co-operative) and in 1955, the company’s first supermarket was opened.
In 1981, Waitrose introduced a counter service for fresh fish, meat and cheese. Two years later, Waitrose became the first chain of supermarkets to offer organic food. In 2000, Waitrose bought 11 stores formerly owned by rival store Somerfield. In 2004, the company bought 19 Safeway stores from Morrisons and a year after, it bought five more Safeway stores from Morrisons. In the next two years, Waitrose bought seven more Safeway stores. In 2008, the supermarket chain was able to acquire four Woolworth’s stores and converted them to Waitrose branches. A year later, Waitrose acquired 13 stores from British giant The Co-operative Group. In 2010, the supermarket chain bought five supermarkets that were located in the Channel Islands. These stores began operating as Waitrose supermarkets February of 2011.
Over the years and under the ownership of the partnership, Waitrose continued to grow and stores continued to open in different parts of the United Kingdom, such as England,Wales and Scotland. The stores varied from small ones having an area of 7,000 feet squared, to big ones having an area of 56,000 feet square.
Currently, Waitrose Ltd operates around Waitrose supermarkets in the southern part of England, in the Midlands, in Wales, in East Anglia and in Scotland. The company continues to grow and improve its operations by creating partnerships with non-food manufacturing companies, allowing Waitrose to offer clothing or housewares in its Food and Home shops. Waitrose’s partnership with Ocado has allowed the latter to deliver groceries to homes in the United Kingdom. Waitrose is now considered the 6th largest grocery chain in all of UK.
In January of 2011, Waitrose was awarded the Royal Warrant to supply wine, groceries and spirits to Queen Elizabeth the Second. Waitrose was also given the Royal Warrant to supply the same products to Queen Elizabeth, Queen Mother.
Headquarters: Bracknell,United Kingdom
Ownership Type: a subsidiary of John Lewis Partnership
Geography: United Kingdom
Demography: retail food products consumers
Waitrose Customer Care: 0800 188 884