UK retailer Waitrose is preparing to launch a trial of a smaller-scale store that will sell a greater proportion of locally-sourced produce.


The upmarket retailer is set to open its first “market-town” style outlet at a remodelled store located in St Neots, Cambridge, on 16 May. The store will focus on locally-produced fresh foods.


“We want at least half the space dedicated to fresh food and much of that will be local food from nearby farms. We’re aiming to reflect the ambience of a traditional grocery shop,” Waitrose MD Mark Price revealed.


The market-town format will be between 15,000 and 20,000 square feet, but Waitrose is understood to be considering convenience stores with selling space of between 3,000 and 4,000 square feet.


While the company currently only plans to open one store, Waitrose told just-food that the concept could potentially be rolled out nationwide.


“We are doing a trial initially in one store and seeing how it works. But obviously we wouldn’t be testing the concept if we didn’t think it was scalable,” a spokesperson for the company said.