Waitrose is set to buy 22 new stores and aims to target two million new customers.
The retailer has made a conditional agreement with the Co-operative Group to buy 13 stores, arising out of their acquisition of Somerfield.
They will also open at least nine new branches. The new shops will increase the number of Waitrose stores to 220 and will increase the supermarket’s presence in areas where it is currently under-represented.
Waitrose biggest period of growth
Openings of the 13 acquired stores will begin in spring.
Waitrose managing director Mark Price commented:
‘I’m delighted to announce the biggest period of growth in the history of Waitrose. There is a real weight of evidence that businesses that continue to invest during tough economic times fare much better when the economy begins to recover. Our new shops will help ensure Waitrose is in the best shape possible coming out of the recession.
‘I am always overwhelmed by the number of letters I receive asking for a Waitrose in new areas, demonstrating there is a strong demand for quality food.’
Waitrose received a Which? award for best high street shop last year.
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