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Waitrose to operate cashless store in Sky Central this summer; an industry first in UK

LONDON, 2016-Mar-31 — /EPR Retail News/ — Waitrose is to become the UK’s first major supermarket brand to operate a cashless store when it opens in Sky’s new flagship head office building at its campus in Osterley this summer.

It will also be the first Waitrose to open on a workplace campus in almost 20 years and at 1,400 sq ft will become the second smallest store in the retailer’s estate.

The little Waitrose branded shop will be located inside Sky’s new office building – Sky Central – which will be home to more than 3,500 staff when work is completed in the summer.

Sky employees will only be able to pay by card or their mobile devices at one of the five self-service checkouts in the store.

Waitrose opened its only other office based store in 1998 – a 520 sq ft shop at British Airways’ Waterside headquarters in Harmondsworth.

The retailer met with groups of Sky employees to determine what they would like to see in their new store. There will be a focus on evening meals and food to go, including fresh sandwiches, wraps and sushi, as well as a selection of fresh produce and ingredients, celebration cakes, freshly cut flowers and store cupboard staples. Bread and croissants will be baked each day, too.

Travel accessories and mini health and beauty ranges will also be available for those needing to travel at late notice or choosing to take advantage of the on-site gym.

The store will be run by Waitrose employees with 20 jobs created. They will all become Partners in the John Lewis Partnership.

Waitrose Director, Convenience, Jackie Wharton, says: ‘Opening on the Sky campus is an exciting opportunity for us to respond to how customers wish to shop in this flagship workplace setting. Our convenience model is now more flexible than ever, especially as payment methods and ranges continue to evolve, so we’ll look forward to exploring other opportunities like this in the future.’

Nick Green, Director of Property Service Group, Sky, added: ‘We’re thrilled to welcome Waitrose to our campus in Osterley. Our goal is to make Sky a great place to work for all our colleagues and having such easy access to this new shop will be a huge benefit.’

Notes to editors
Sky – Sky’s new HQ building, Sky Central, opens in summer 2016. It will join Sky’s existing buildings – Sky Studios, a fully-equipped Health and Fitness Centre and the Believe in Better Building (one of the largest and tallest sustainably-sourced solid wood structures in commercial office use in the UK and home to the work Sky does for young people through Sky Academy) – on a campus buzzing with over 7250 people.

Waitrose – winner of the Best Supermarket1 and Best Food and Grocery Retailer2 awards- currently has 346 shops in England, Scotland, Wales and the Channel Islands, including 60 convenience branches, and another 27 shops at Welcome Break locations. It combines the convenience of a supermarket with the expertise and service of a specialist shop – dedicated to offering quality food that has been responsibly sourced, combined with high standards of customer service.  Waitrose also exports its products to 58 countries worldwide and has seven shops which operate under licence in the Middle East. Waitrose’s omnichannel business includes the online grocery service, as well as specialist online shops including for wine and for cookware, utensils and kithchen gadgets.

¹ Which? Customer Survey
² Verdict Customer Satisfaction Awards


For further information please contact:

James Armstrong
Property and Development Communications Manager, Waitrose
Telephone: 01344 824657

EPR Retail News