Waitrose opens overseas

WAITROSE is set to open one of five shops in the Channel Islands this week, in its first owner-operated venture outside the UK.

The Thursday opening of its 21,000 square foot shop in St Saviour, Jersey, comes just a week after the retailer opened its first shop in Bahrain.

However, unlike Bahrain, which is operated as part of a licensing agreement with Fine Fare Food Market, the forthcoming Channel Islands branches will be managed and operated solely by Waitrose.

The new shop is one of five branches (three in Jersey and two in Guernsey) purchased from Sandpiper CI Ltd, a Channel Islands retail chain.

To meet local legal and accounting rules, Waitrose now has two new operating companies, Waitrose Jersey Ltd and Waitrose Guernsey Ltd.

Waitrose described the opening as a “major logistical feat”, as it involved a two-week shop refit and sourcing of 500 local products.

The Channel Islands division will bring 600 staff into the John Lewis fold, including 400 who worked in the shops bought by Waitrose.