High end supermarket group Waitrose announced yesterday (17 June) that it was further expanding outside its London base with the acquisition of six stores and a regional distribution centre from the UK’s fourth-largest supermarket operator Morrisons.

The acquisition follows Waitrose’s recent expansion into Scotland and strengthens its presence in its core trading regions and beyond.

Each acquired store will be converted to the Waitrose format – a process that is expected to be completed by mid-November.

The expansion builds on the five stores acquired from Somerfield earlier this year and together with a new store opening later this month brings the total number of Waitrose stores to 182 nationally.

Commenting on the acquisition, Steven Esom, Waitrose MD, said: “Our strategy is to build a strong business with nationwide reach by consolidating our position where we are already well established and by expanding into new areas. 

“We are very encouraged that the appeal for the Waitrose offer of expert service and quality fresh food is strong and growing in both new and old territories. We will continue to seek to bring that offer to more customers across the country.”