Waitrose flexes its muscle in John Lewis online tie-up deal

WAITROSE, the upmarket grocer, yesterday announced it plans to sell kitchen and homeware products online in a commercial tie-up with John Lewis, in the hope it can pinch market share from rival retailers. <br /><br />Under the deal Waitrose will sell thousands of its own and John Lewis&rsquo;s products online from 4 August, placing more pressure on Asda, Tesco, J Sainsbury and Marks &amp; Spencer&rsquo;s e-commerce offering.<br /><br />The group said this latest move was building on the success of the first &ldquo;Foodhall from Waitrose&rdquo; in John Lewis on London&rsquo;s main Oxford Street. Waitrose managing director Mark Price said: &ldquo;Working in collaboration with John Lewis and having their products as part of our range will strengthen Waitrose&rsquo;s presence on the high street even more and will give us a real opportunity to rival our four main competitors with an exceptional non-food offer which will be unmatched.&rdquo;<br /><br />Recent figures by TNS show that Waitrose had an 8.2 per cent increase in sales in the 12 weeks to 12 July, driven by the launch of its cheaper range of &ldquo;Essentials&rdquo; products. The value range now accounts for 16 per cent of its sales.