Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Wednesday 11 January 2012

Could north Scotland get a Waitrose in coming 5 years?

A couple of evenings ago I was discussing with some friends here our current supermarket shopping options, both very locally here in Nairn and within reasonable distance (by car or bus) in Inverness, Forres or slightly father afield in Elgin. Very locally, we now have a recently-opened and very welcome Sainsbury, with the main alternative being the decidedly inferior (in various ways) Co-operative. In Inverness there are several Tesco outlets, as well as a Morrison, plus various others such as a Co-operative, Lidl and Aldi. Forres duplicates up with a Tesco and a Lidl and Elgin has various including the only Asda in the area, until the planned store in Inverness opens later this year.

We all agreed that it would be great if a Waitrose were to come to this area, but thought that this was unlikely - but one can live in hope. Currently there are 3 branches in Scotland (2 in Edinburgh, 1 in Glasgow), with a 2nd store planned for Glasgow soon. However, Waitrose has signalled it would like to open a further 16 stores in Scotland over the coming 5 years. Now, I expect most of those will be in the Edinburgh or Glasgow area, with perhaps Aberdeen and Dundee getting a look-in, but maybe, just maybe, their consumer profiling exercises could justify one further north, possibly in Inverness, or even (I said I was being fanciful!) in little old Nairn?


  1. Hi Bill,

    I wasn't really a fan of Waitrose - their store in Morningside, for example, which used to be a Safeway back in the day, is very small, as is their outlet on Byres Road. However, I went to the one in Beckenham once when I was living in London and that was a different story entirely - big, light, airy and while still expensive by comparison, a pleasant experience.

    I think the big breakthrough for Waitrose in Scotland will come when they build one of their own stores from scratch, instead of occupying a store which someone else used to run. Maybe that could become the USP for Nairn's bid!



  2. Hi Richard

    That's interesting. I've not been into any of their existing Scottish stores, only a couple rather farther south of here than Edin./Glas. - my idea in pushing for Nairn would be it is easily accessible from the whole area (a radius of Inverness in west to Elgin in the East) as well as obviously for us discerning folk in Nairn :) I agree it's much easier to put one's corporate stamp on things started from scratch, or at least in a decent-sized modern-ish space with convenient parking that can be fitted out in their own style.

  3. Waitrose is drab.

    It's full of dull people on middle incomes paying too much for slightly better than mediocre stuff.

  4. Hi Pete

    Nice to hear from you. Obviously you have a right to your opinion. In any case you are free not to shop there if you don't wish to, or don't consider yourself a dull person on a middle income in your terms, or don't wish to be perceived of as such in terms of the definitions you have applied ;)


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