Waitrose expands global presence with e-commerce tie-up

Waitrose expands global presence with e-commerce tie-up

Waitrose has joined forces with an online retailer to enable it to reach a global audience.

The upmarket high street grocery retailer has become the first supermarket to sell its own label products through British Corner Shop, an online store that dubs itself the "online supermarket for expats", which delivers British food to customers worldwide,

This partnership will enable Waitrose to gain a foothold in the 138 countries that British Corner Shop regularly delivers to, including the US and Germany, neither of which is amongst the 60 countries that Waitrose currently serves.

Bristol-based British Corner Shop which was set up in 1999  will give shoppers access to more than 2000 products available from Waitrose, in addition to the 10,000 existing products the e-commerce retailer already stock.

Last year British Corner Shop shipped more than 50,000 orders overseas. Its customers will now be able to choose from the supermarket's own label range, including Waitrose Duchy Originals, essential Waitrose, Waitrose Baby and the recently relaunched premium range, Waitrose 1.

Traditional British food such as tea, cakes, biscuits and soup are expected to be the most popular goods along with a growing demand for organic produce.

There is no minimum order, though shoppers pay a hefty price premium for the products for sale via British Corner Shop.

For example, Weetabix Organic 24's cost GBP2.99 online at Tesco, but GBP4.99 at British Corner shop, while Tiptree Jam retails for GBP2.19 at Tesco and GBP3.99 at British Corner Shop. There is a similar hefty mark up on that great British favourite PG Tips, which sells for GBP5.99 at Tesco but GBP7.49 via British Corner Shop.

"British Corner Shop gives a global audience access to Waitrose and provides a platform for our British suppliers to showcase the great food and drink they produce. We are proud that our brand continues to retain the loyalty and trust of customers wherever they are in the world," said Waitrose commercial director, Mark Williamson.

Mark Callaghan, British Corner Shop's managing director, said: "We are delighted to have agreed a deal with Waitrose. We know the Waitrose brand will go down well with our British expat customer base, in particular categories such as biscuits and household are in demand, and the Waitrose Duchy Organic brand is often requested. Waitrose and British Corner Shop share a company value of 'Championing British', and we look forward to growing our relationship with Waitrose, and to exporting the Waitrose brand to customers around the world."

Waitrose profits fell 17% amid "exceptionally tough" conditions in the British grocery sector, according to the latest accounts filed with Companies House by the business, which is part of the John Lewis Partnership.

Pre-tax profit dropped to GBP66.6m in the year to January, while sales also fell  to GBP5.9bn from GBP6bn a year earlier and like-for-like sales were down by 1.3%.