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    U.K. Grocer Moving Forward with “Little Waitrose” Banner

    Supermarket chain expects to open 28 convenience stores this year.

    LONDON -- Waitrose, one of the largest supermarket chains in the United Kingdom, is moving forward with a 3,000-square-foot convenience store format that it recently dubbed "Little Waitrose" at a location in west London.

    The retailer last week went on to say that it would gauge consumer reaction to the potential new sub-brand, according to a report on the Web site, Just-Food.com.

    The company said, "Little Waitrose was the overwhelming choice of the customers" it spoke with to find out "what they felt best captured the brand and offer."

    As reported by CSNews Online last November, Waitrose opened a 6,000-square-foot "convenience-oriented" version of its full-line supermarkets in December 2008, following that up with the test of a smaller 3,000-square-foot store in Cambridge last June. Click here to read the story.

    Waitrose, which has two other smaller 3,000-square-foot stores, plans to re-brand its existing smaller units and roll out the "Little Waitrose" name on all future convenience stores if the test in west London is successful.

    "We are really excited by the reaction we have already had to our 'Little Waitrose' shop and if our customers continue to respond as they have done in the last 24 hours, we will certainly be introducing the brand to more of our smaller convenience shops," said Waitrose’s director of store development Diana Hunter, according to Just-Food.com.

    The company said it planned to open 28 convenience stores this year, adding to the 13 it already operates, with some of them expected to be under the Little Waitrose banner.

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