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Shell launches trial of Waitrose range in-store

27 November, 2009
Page 7 

Shell has launched a trial selling Waitrose products in three of its forecourt stores in the Birmingham area.

The Waitrose range of about 200 convenience products will be placed in several locations alongside the existing Shell offering, but in "clearly marked areas", according to Melanie Lane, Shell UK retail general manager.

"There will be some signage on the pole sign, at the fuel pumps and in-store, but we are not doing an in-store upgrade," she said. "It is much more about the quality of the product and less about the shopping experience. It is not about spending a lot of money redeveloping the stores and creating costly overheads commercially.

"It's about our customers getting more out of their visit to a Shell forecourt. We know that customers respond to well-known brands."

The Waitrose range will include sandwiches, wraps and snacks, as well as a small selection of grocery items, ranging from bread and pasta to ready meals and toiletries.

The trial is likely to last about three to six months and Lane is optimistic about a future rollout.

"The Shell Waitrose relationship presents a very attractive offer for our customers. By bringing together Shell's quality fuels and competitive pump prices with Waitrose quality convenience foods we can offer our customers an even greater choice. We think the offer will be particularly appealing to customers who spend a lot of time on the road but don't want to compromise on taste, quality or healthier food choices. And ultimately we hope that customers will feel sufficiently attracted to the shop offer that they would come back more often."