Waitrose expnds European presence with new deal

This week, Waitrose will expand its global reach by selling its food and drink in Switzerland through a deal with upmarket department store chain, Manor.

In the past two years, Waitrose has rapidly grown its export business, with products available in Chile, Gibraltar, the Philippines, the Bahamas, the Turks and Caicos Islands and Ibiza for the first time this year. In the last financial year, the retailer's sales to other parts of the world were up by 20%.

Around 120 products will go on sale in Switzerland, including frozen products from curries to desserts, store cupboard groceries from organic marmalade to English breakfast tea, and sweet treats including biscuits and shortbread.

Products will be available in the food hall of the department store's Geneva branch from this week, before rolling out to a further six branches in other Swiss cities including Zurich and Basel at the beginning of next month.

If successful, there is the potential for products to be sold in up to 40 of the department stores 65 outlets with food halls.

Products will span everyday groceries from the essential Waitrose range through to indulgent treats from Waitrose Seriously.

The supermarket, which currently exports to more than 45 countries2, from the US and Canada to the Far East and Australia, announced earlier this year that it is keen to grow its European presence further. A new deal with Eurostar in April this year3, which means Waitrose products are available on-board all journeys, has helped the retailer grow its brand
presence on the continent and paved the way for further growth.

Waitrose Business to Business Director, David Morton said: 'This is an exciting move as part of our plans to make our brand available to more people in more places and grow our presence in Europe. Wherever we launch our products, we tend to find that the best-sellers are those associated with Britain, such as tea and biscuits and we are confident that our range in Switzerland will be popular with locals and expats alike.'

Earlier this year, Waitrose launched a range of its sandwiches, snacks and ready meals in the Standard Class buffet cars on all Eurostar services, in its first major move into on-board food. This move was also the supermarket's first significant move into Northern Europe, as part of its ambition to expand its export activities.