Good morning Waitrose. Most of your customers know what is good about you. Nice products, wide aisles, courteous, well-trained staff, no inappropriate background music to get on one’s nerves (are you reading this, Marks & Spencer?). But increasingly I wonder about your buying and stocking policy. A few examples may serve to make my point.
In my local Waitrose, the Warburton’s Wholemeal bread (small size) always runs out early, leaving plenty of Hovis (which is not what I want). So why not buy more Warburton’s and less Hovis? Not rocket science.
Until recently, your own range of washing-up liquids included one variety labelled Sensitive, which was my choice as being less scented it made me sneeze less. It invariably seemed to run out before the other varieties. Now I see you have launched a new, reduced range and cleverly dropped the one that I (and many others, judging from the shelves) liked best. Brilliant. That’ll teach us to think we know what we want.
And you are especially weak on non-grocery items. Your greetings cards are absurdly drab, though I expect they please some trendy buyer who mistakes drabness for chic.
This week I wanted a new double oven glove. Your offering was plain black (for £5). Now call me provincial, but I do not want a black oven glove, as I don’t live in Islington. So I drove to Asda where I bought a ‘pretty’ oven glove (for £4).
Most of your kitchenware and stationery is outrageously over-priced.
Yes, I know you’ve just been told by Which? that you are the best supermarket in Britain, and for the second year running. But that doesn’t make you perfect and above all it shouldn’t make you complacent. Look what happened to Sainsbury’s a dozen years ago, when they were riding high and started to take their customers for granted. I suspect your headquarters staff tend to live in an ivory tower and think they know better than we do what we want. Be warned. You do not.
Have a lovely summer hols.
A Customer (who is beginning to get itchy feet)