Whimsical Waitrose are spot on

A rather lovely brand extension

On Friday I saw one for the first time: a ‘little Waitrose’. A bittersweet moment, for the store takes the place of what used to be a branch of Blackwell’s, but if it can’t be a bookshop then this will have to do. Compare ‘little Waitrose’ against the competition’s pedestrian ‘Metro’, ‘Local’ and ‘Express’: unlike these it is sophisticated, whimsical and a little audacious. You can imagine that when Sainsbury’s and Tesco were developing their convenience offer, they may have had this option presented by their brand people but it takes a really confident brand to do something this simple. The only sad thing is that Waitrose didn’t have the gumption to do it the other way – to make their larger stores ‘big Waitrose’ rather than the uninspired Food and Home.

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