Though UK is not traditionally known for being a big consumer of fruits, but the trend is picking up fast. The 1990's itself witnessed a big rise in the retail market chains. This trend on the one hand resulted in decreasing the number of fruit suppliers, while on the other it resulted in reducing the importance of wholesale markets and marketing agents. Industry also got a boost with the Food Safety Act-1990, which required that the food being procured from suppliers is safe. The supermarket chains have now started adopting product and price differentiation strategies for further growth. Quality has now become an important consideration for product differentiation. In order to optimize the space planning, Waitrose took a lead in adopting innovative products like MarketMax. With the reduction in number of suppliers, now only the big players remain in the business of supply. Role of these supplier firms has also changed over time, as these companies have also become multinationals with procurement being done from different countries. The strategy of 'Category Leadership' being adopted by Waitrose is bearing fruits with the company attaining good growth in fruit retailing, particularly in exotic fruits.
Waitrose is part of a strong John Lewis Partnership plc group, which is a supplier of consumer goods in the fashion, household and food markets. Company's main focus area is UK. Having the backing of a strong group helps not only in the form of giving it an identity, but also in the form of experience, reaching out to potential customers, clubbing the marketing decisions, planning out marketing communication strategies etc.
Company has been able to establish itself quite well, despite squeezing of the profit margins. The category leadership strategy in particular has been able to provide it with more than 5% of market share in fruit retailing and leading share of market in some categories like Exotic Fruits
Waitrose has around 150 retail stores in the country, which can cater to a large number of its customers.
The company has a good standing in market, as is evident by the increase in sales in 2000, despite raising the prices over and above the industry averages. This goes on to show that loyal customers are willing to somewhat extra to have a product of Waitrose.
A supportive legal position, with the Food safety act stipulating steps for ensuring safe and quality food, which in turn resulted in consolidating the positions of companies who are in the business of retailing quality items.
Waitrose has been first off the block in implementing the cutting edge IT strategies
The company has been coming out with quality food publications like the Quarterly Food Illustrated, the quarterly 'Seasons'.
Still the company is primarily is concentrated within the south of England. Despite having been in the business for so many years. The company requires to strengthen its presence in other markets as well, to take on the competitors.
Waitrose doesn't take stock of its business on quarterly basis. In this competitive era, when companies have in fact started taking stock of their business on a monthly basis, as this helps in taking a corrective course, whenever slight deviation appears. With the