Waitrose managing director Mark Price said today (12 October) that, despite the UK retailer’s plans for aggressive growth over the coming years, acquisitions are not on the agenda.

“Acquisitions are out of the question as you can’t introduce the John Lewis culture through a large-scale expansion,” Price said at the IGD retail convention in London.

Price said that, despite the bleak economic outlook, the time was right for Waitrose to continue expanding organically as the retailer has a “strong balance sheet, there is space in the market, and we have a fantastic team of people who are very committed”

Referring to Waitrose’s plans to expand through partnerships with Boots and Welcome Break, as well as plans to expand its convenience operations, Price said: “We have a sustainable organic development plan…We have great plans for store estate growth, a strong relationship with Boots, and we’re developing our non-food. We have good growth plans through convenience and partnerships.”

However, Price hinted at innovation in the retailer’s store formats, saying there would be “exciting changes” come spring, but would not be drawn on the developments.