For a long time, Waitrose has been typified as a favourite among the middle and upper class, offering a variety of ‘Home Grown’ Organic products.
Reports show that shoppers who used to frequent the high-end supermarket, have flocked to other chains such as Aldi and Lidl amid the cost of living crisis.
Waitrose and Partners have announced that they will invest more than £100 million into their stores slashing the prices of more than 100 own range products.
The Berkshire-based chain holds two royal warrants and has been hailed for the quality of the products and welfare of the farmers that they work with. In the past, Waitrose has also been a prominent sponsor of England’s Cricket team.
But since their decrease in prices, how do they compare to other supermarkets and do you get the quality that you pay for?
Truthfal visited the Waitrose and Partners branch in Truro to see what items had been lowered in price.
A Truro branch employee (or a partner as the company calls them) declined to comment on the decision to cut prices, but he believed that their prices are not any different to other supermarkets.
Around the fruit and veg aisle, there were numerous marked products with new decreased prices.
Waitrose classifies its products into four categories: Essential Waitrose, Waitrose, Duchy Organic and
The decrease in prices is mainly on Essential Waitrose products.
In an interview for the Telegraph (paywall), Waitrose’s Executive Director, James Bailey, stated that the higher prices on some of their products were simply because they pay British farmers more, stating that, “last year alone, we paid our British beef, chicken, egg, milk, poultry and salmon farmers an additional £56 million as a result of the increase in costs they were facing. We remain committed to buying British and to the highest animal welfare standards, not just for whole cuts of meat but in other products from sandwiches to stocks and mayonnaise.”
But how do their prices compare to other supermarkets, and would the decrease of around 24 per cent be able to bring back its customers and attract some new ones as well?
I spoke to the store manager at Waitrose in Truro, James Richards, who said that they had reduced the prices of over 100 products.
“As you can see around the store on every isle, most of our essential range products have been slightly reduced, while still redeeming the Waitrose high-quality.”, he said.
The company has also redesigned its members’ perks system, myWaitrose, not offering free newspapers anymore, but treating its members with product vouchers every week.
“Obviously, we removed the free newspaper that came with every shop, which disappointed some of our customers at first, but now we have introduced the weekly vouchers, and they have been well received.”.
Deborah Bright, who lives in Truro, has been a loyal customer of the branch since its opening in 2016.
She says that the reason she has been loyal to the branch is its quality and the welfare of its suppliers.
“I have noticed that my food shop has been costing more, but I, fortunately, can afford it for now. The quality of the products is so much better, and they pay their farmers quite well, but it’s good that have decreased prices of some items.”, Mrs Bright said.
The company is yet to see whether its new campaign will bring back more customers.