Waitrose hunts for convenience store sites
Aug 3 2010 by Henryk Zientek, Huddersfield Daily Examiner
SUPERMARKET chain Waitrose is seeking sites for new stores in West Yorkshire – with Kirklees one of the districts being considered.
The retailer is keen to roll out new stores – creating hundreds of jobs – in town and city centres as well as suburban areas across the area.
Retail specialists at the Leeds office of property consultants King Sturge have been appointed to find and acquire suitable sites as part of Waitrose’s plans to open 30 new stores throughout the UK next year.
The first new-format Waitrose convenience store opened in Cambridgeshire earlier this year, creating about 40 jobs. A further five have followed.
Waitrose is seeking sites suitable for stores with a sales area of 3,000sq ft to 7,000sq ft or 4,00sq ft to 10,000sq ft gross in town and city centres, transport hubs and the suburbs. The team at King Sturge said it already had several sites under consideration.
Jonathan Newns, head of the King Sturge in-town retail team, said: “Waitrose’s move into smaller stores demonstrates that convenience shopping is a growing market.
“Today’s busy lifestyles mean that customers want choice and access to food shopping on their doorstep. The convenience stores which open in the north will help to create easier access to a wider choice of quality products which is good news for shoppers.”
Said Mr Newns: “From a property point of view, the smaller format stores should be easier to accommodate as they allow for greater flexibility in the size of retail unit and location and should encounter fewer potential planning hurdles.”
Research based on shopping patterns at Waitrose’s existing convenience shops shows that customers use them to buy everything they need for the next 24 hours.
The new stores in the north will focus on freshly-baked bread, sandwiches, salads, deli products and individually-wrapped cakes, quick meals, fresh meat and fish as well as household items such as health and beauty goods, cleaning products, greetings cards and gift wrap,
The Leeds office of King Sturge is one of the region’s largest independent firms of chartered surveyors and property consultants with 70 staff providing property agency and investment services throughout Yorkshire and Humber and North Derbyshire.Š