Blog: Waitrose sets sights on Europe with Eurostar deal
Michelle Russell | 30 April 2013
UK upmarket retailer Waitrose has its sights set on Europe with the signing of a Eurostar deal.
The agreement, which will see the grocer supply food and drink to all standard class buffet cars across Eurostar's fleet, marks Waitrose's first major move into on-board food.
It will also be the supermarket's first significant move into Northern Europe as it looks to expand its business-to-business and export activities.
And it marks yet another expansion abroad for the retail chain, which grew its export business 20% over the past year.
Waitrose already supplies food to 45 countries including Singapore, Thailand, New Zealand and India. It also operates five branches in the Channel Islands, and has nine shops in the Middle East in partnership with Fine Fare Food Market. In the year to the end of January it grew its export business by around 20%.
It will therefore come as no surprise the retailer has expansion on its mind. In 2013 it has already begun supplying to new countries including Gibraltar, Trinidad, Ibiza, the Bahamas, the Philippines and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
This latest deal will give Waitrose access to Eurostar's 10m passengers a year who travel between destinations including Paris, London, Brussels and Calais.
It is a further sign the retailer is growing, despite operating in a highly promotional and competitive UK grocery market. In Kantar Worldpanel's latest figures, Waitrose's latest market share hit a record 4.9%.
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