Having shopped at several different Waitrose stores for several years I have to say it's my favourite supermarket by a long way.
Waitrose seems to have a very different ethos and attitude to its customers than other stores and feel slightly old fashioned when it comes to customer service. There's a sense of the customer always being right but also the staff are really respectful and tend to seem quite calm and like they've got the time to deal with you which is unusual in this day and age.
The Stores tend to be laid out in a simple and relatively uncluttered manner with wide aisles and without tons of random baskets of things littering aisles. It also a great shop if you are a keen cook as it's an easy store to pick up basic and unusual ingredients that don't often get found in supermarkets.
The brand range tends to be a bit more upmarket & more expensive but in general even the Waitrose essentials range is great quality and I like that I can pick up nicer quality skin-care there.
Most of the time when we visit Waitrose all the checkouts are open even if the store is quiet which makes the process of paying less stressful and avoids queues. The only time we've found a store hectic was on Christmas eve but even then staff where controlling the queuing which helped to keep the store aisles relatively clear and the people queuing were in a good mood. This calm attitude is really great for those of us who tend to get a bit overwhelmed by high sensory input.
The only negative I have to say is that certain product lines can sell out fast and we often have to find an alternative for things we buy regularly. Not a big deal but maybe some stores need a little more stock of popular items/offers or to restock shelves more often.
AVOID Waitrose Raynes Park Store - shopping there is horrible!
The manager/director of this store has a very crude method for implementing monitoring and security procedures. On the occasions that I visited the store, an overzealous staff (or the manager/director himself) would tail me as if I will shoplift something. It is extremely uncomfortable, verging on insulting.
Sometime ago, I visited the store to grab a couple of items quickly as I was cooking something in the oven (I am a local resident of Raynes Park and live just across the Waitrose store). The manager/director aggressively chased me around the store. As I approached a sales assistant, standing at the vegetable section, to ask where I can get some radish, the manager/director tried to block me forthright. He was probably thinking I was going to run for the exit, which was a distant 10-15 meters away.
I see no way that this behaviour, can be justified, even more so from a senior manager. It is both brutal and absurd. The only time a store staff can chase a customer is when the person walks out the store (not within it) without paying. I can only think of this manager/director as rough (a contemptible scum in a badly fitting suit and cheap looking shoes) as he certainly has his own version of creating an unforgettably unpleasant customer shopping experience.
Up until very recently I had never really shopped at Waitrose as there wasn't one in my town, and I always thought of it as being a high end supermarket that would be above my budget. However, I have recently moved to an area with a Waitrose close by, and I have to say I love it.
The store always looks fresh and tidy, with a brillaint range of enticing produce. Although things can be a little on the pricy side compared to the other main supermarkets, I have found that if I shop smart there are planty of bargains to be had as there are always good multibuy offers available.
Although I find the Waitrose 'basic' range to be well above par compared to other similar ranges I have tried, it's the tasty treats that I really love Waitrose for - there is always something to try that can't be found in the other supermarkets. Whether you're having friends round for dinner or just want to spoil yourself, there's always something to tickle your fancy!
As well as all this, the customer service is always fantastic; the staff always seem friendly, chatty and helpful... and always have a smile on their faces!
I live in London and am sorrounded by all supermarkets but I always end up shopping in Waitrose because the quality is so much better. I purchased a whole chicken for £5 from Asda and Tesco and then purchased Waitrose Essential (like there cheapest range) for the same price and it was probably 100 times better. The meat looked 'proper' and didn't look like scrap. Waitrose's own brand is much better than Tesco's 'finest' and Asda's extra special range and it is only a few pence cheaper.
I would suggest that getting the basic branded items would not be worth getting for Waitrose as other places are cheaper, but Waitrose do sometime brand match the price if it is lower in Tesco etc. If you are looking for quality meat and vegetables, this supermarket is excellent with quality and freshness.
I am a student so do not earn much and live of my student loan but Waitrose Essential is just as cheap and really good.
There is a large range of items in the big and smaller stores.
Because I live in central London and I don't drive, grocery shopping can be a bit of a headache (albeit a good workout). Thank god for grocery delivery service, especially from Waitrose which is my favourite supermarket in the UK ever since my days in boarding school!
In this review I am going to comment exclusively on the delivery service but not the supermarket itself. The grocery website is easy enough to use, but sometimes navigating products can be a little difficult because Waitrose separates their products into numerous specific sub-categories. And you can't see the products until you've arrived at the very bottom of the sub-category. There is always the search function, which is perfect if you know exactly what you want to get. For me though, I prefer to browse around so at times I get quite annoyed.
This being said, Waitrose online always has a good range of offers that you can exploit. For example, for those who hate cooking and like a quick, easy-to-make meal, I find that there are always meal deals available that let you choose a main, side and dessert for less than 10 pounds. Other than this, there are a lot of other offers like 3 for 2, 2 for 1, 2 for 2.50 pounds, etc - so I find that I am always able to buy my food for a lot less than I expect!
Needless to say, Waitrose offer a wide range of products of good quality - in my opinion, a lot better than its competitors for similar price. This is especially noticeable if you're buying from Waitrose's own range of products, like essential Waitrose. Their vegetables, meat and seafood are always of a very good quality!
Delivery-wise, Waitrose offers free delivery when you shop above 50 pounds. This is no problem at all for me, because I always like to buy a week's worth of groceries in one go so I always exceed this amount. The drivers are friendly and very helpful, always offering to take my groceries into the kitchen and going through the bill with me, informing me of the unavailable items or items they have substituted. Substitution is an option you can select or remove on each individual products. I tend to remove it, because I don't always like the products they replace my original orders with (they only do this when the original product is unavailable). However, you can always tell your delivery driver that you don't like the substituted product, and they will always take it away and adjust your payable amount.
A few things about the delivery service from my own experience. Maybe it is only specific to the branch that delivers to me, but I find that my order always come very early to me. For example, last week when I chose the timeslot between 11am-1pm delivery, my order came at 10.45am. And this week, it actually came at 10am! (The driver was nice enough to call ahead and check with me, thus waking me up from my sleep...) I don't mind it so much because I am often home in the mornings, but it definitely would be better if they can stay within my chosen time period.
Overall though, good experience and products and I would recommend it.
Booked a delivery. All was wonderful in the shop. But the lorry came 2 hours early (before I got home) and didn't bother to call me.
I rang customer service to correct this and was told it would be delivered before 10pm... I waited 8 hours and the lorry never came back.
I rang and was told that I would receive a phone call at 8am and would be offered some "good will"
The phone call never came.
I rang and asked why I hadn't been called. I was EXTREMELY polite. I hate it when people get angry on the phone and I figured that you get more flies with honey right? No apology, no offer of good will, only another promise it would be delivered before 6pm if I would just sit in my lounge for the entire day and wait for the driver to show up when he felt like it.
I asked why this was considered an acceptable level of service? I was told it was my fault for not booking it correctly. I was told my phone number was written down wrong .. I pointed out that I had a printed copy of the booking and that she had just called me on that very same phone number... no apology. Just excuses and blame.
Since posting this review, I was contacted by Cheltenham management who fixed the problem and offered me several vouchers and some (expensive) wine as "good will". Although the problem was totally disgusting, to their credit the manager who spoke to me was very understanding and apologetic and I will probably go back (at least to spend my vouchers!)
I visit Waitrose fairly often as it is one of the nearest local shops in my area, the others include Marks and Spencers and the Co-operative. Waitrose is targeted at the middle-upper class and the prices are generally more expensive than the larger supermarket stores. However, recently Waitrose has started the Tesco price match and 1000's of their products cost just as much as Tesco, however for me I would not put this as an achievement as I think Tesco is very expensive now and so Waitrose products are still at the high end market.
I love going to shop at Waitrose because the food is all such a high quality and the staff are very friendly and helpful and always make an effort to start a short conversation in the little time they have at the till or bakery counter. I mainly only do small grocery shops here when running low on food when coming home from work and I do the weekly shop from Asda because it is much easier to buy a lot as you can take the car and the prices are much lower which gives me satisfaction when looking at the amount of savings I have received on my receipt.
Most of the food available is free range or organic which is very good but it always costs that little bit extra and is not great when your purse is feeling the pinch. I personally love buying the fair-trade bananas which always seem to be nice and ripe with a full flavour that other shops just can't compete with. The fresh ham is also I think a bargain, I usually choose 6 thin slices of British honey roast ham which comes in at around £1.50- £2-50 which is very good for the taste and quality. The essential Waitrose range does make a small shop at Waitrose more affordable.
Waitrose has a lovely friendly atmosphere and you get a token for your chosen charity out of the 3 that Waitrose has selected which is also very nice for the community. Waitrose is also more sustainable than other supermarkets and is great if you can pay the price.
We people in the west of Scotland have always been somewhat deprived when it comes to access to a Waitrose. Edinburgh have had one for ages but we have only just been lucky enough to have one opened nearby. Having already done my weekly shop, I decided to take an amble round to see what it had to offer and pick up a few extras on the way. Bear in mind it's my first visit to a Waitrose store so my review is based on first impressions rather than long-term experience.
My first impression is that it looks like a nice shop to visit, big windows, neatly laid out car park and very clean looking. As you walk in the door there are a bank of handheld scanners available for you to do your own shopping on the way round. There is a member of staff nearby helping customers who want to use this.
As you go in the door there are a few stands of newspapers and magazines before you reach the fruit and vegetable section. A sandwich/lunch fridge is also near the door for a quick lunchtime snack. The customer service desk is on the right hand side and beyond that the checkouts, and at the far end, a coffee shop.
The first thing that hit me in the fruit and vegetable section was the range available. For example, as well as butternut squash, there were at least three other types of squash available. Along the back wall of the store, fresh fish, butcher, deli and bakery counters were well staffed and brimming with delicious goodies.
There were plenty of offers on throughout the store, with a range of multibuys and price reductions. Recipe cards were situated within the sections with fridges stocking all the relevant items. One fridge had all the necessary bits for the current Delia advert for fish with potatoes and asparagus. This would be very useful if you were coming in looking for that specifically.
The main difference between Waitrose and other stores is that it stocks a bigger range of brands within each product. For example, my local asda only stocks two or three dorset cereal items but the Waitrose had the whole range. They have their own branded range which is on a par pricewise with other supermarkets items on most things. They sell a lot of premium branded items too, which are more expensive in any store.
In this particular store, there was a good long aisle of beauty products including some of the ranges typically found in John Lewis, e.g. Cath Kidston, Neal's Yard. They also stock a small range of socks, scarves, and accessories. There is also a small section of homewares, cards, gifts and stationery.
There must be around ten checkouts in the store but the queues were short. The checkout operator was very pleasant and bags are provided for free (unusual these days). The store donates regular money to local charities and you are given a token at checkout to vote for which one of three local charities should get the £1000 donation each month. I've never experienced this before and thought it was a great idea.
I cannot comment on the cafe as I did not visit but it was very busy and there was a lovely coffee smell wafting around that end of the store.
My final point would be that the parking spaces, although positioned diagonally are quite 'neat'. Although I was in a hatchback, it wasn't easy getting out of the space with other larger cars around me overhanging their bays. It may be difficult to navigate at the busy Christmas time.
Overall, I was impressed by the store. I think it is a bit out of my budget for the weekly shop, but I think I would use it again for a top-up shop as there were good deals and tasty items aplenty.
I really like Waitrose, I kind of think there are stores like Asda, Tescos and then at the upper end there is Harrods and Waitrose is in the middle of these. It is a store that is accessible to everyone as they are nationwide and you can buy all sorts of quality products there.
This brand of supermarket sometimes gets a reputation for being expensive but the items that are pricey are usually very good quality. When it comes to regular everyday products like a can of Coke or a tin of beans the prices are very similar to other supermarkets give or take a few pence either way and this is a fact I notice Waitrose have been trying to raise awareness about recently. Like I said the items that do demand a higher cost are of premium quality and if you are looking for an ingredient when you are cooking that is a bit leftfield or uncommon then I think your chances of finding it in one of their stores is very likely. They have massive ranges of fruit and vegetables as well as salads and all sorts of meats and fish.
In my local Waitrose there is also a John Lewis who stock lovely products for your kitchen, items for the bedroom and great interesting items that would be tremendous as presents or gifts for people.
One of the characteristics that really make this supermarket stand out is the staff, for a start the uniform is extremely smart and whoever designed it has really gone to town. The people who work there always seem willing to help and I think that they are extremely friendly; I think the fact that they are paid well and appreciated by the company encourages them to give their all for the brand. Although I think you could probably save money if you did a large shop in one of the other stores, I really think it is a treat to shop here and the quality is apparent in everything about the store.
I have always loved Waitrose no matter how many people will call me a snob.... I will always continue to shop there. I shall now explain why....
Who are they: Waitrose started out as a small Green Grocer in Acton, Central London. It was founded in 1904 by Arthur Rose and Wallace Waite and David Taylor. However David Taylor left the company a few years later (Hence the name Waitrose). In 1937 it was taken over by the John Lewis Partnership. There are now approximately 237 stores in the UK.
Price and value for money: In my opinion although the price in Waitrose's stores seems to be high I feel it is well worth the money because the quality is so high. In some cases Waitrose actually compares and shows that it has matched prices of other supermarkets such as Tesco. They now just recently advertised that they match Tesco on price on over 1000 products! In my opinion this is very good as I feel that Waitrose is a cut above Tesco and I think its commendable to do this rather than compare to M&S of which is there rival. It shows that anyone can shop there!!
A bit of a shock: I will admit that I do occasionally get a bit of a shock when in Waitrose however. For instance buying lunch- that's a packet of crisps a sandwich and a drink- came to £7.00 OUCH!!!! Another experience was when we did a family shop and expected to pay with a £50 bank note... We actually used 5 of those!!!!! I will warn that you normally have to pay more on branded items such as Branston and Heinz. This is probably because you receive a better shopping experience than you do in other supermarkets.
Layout and presentation: The stores layout is very good as the basics such as the milk and bread are very easy to find as the store is very well "sign posted". I like the fact that on the start on all isles the store has its offers on display making them easy to find. I will admit however the outer building layout is poor. The car park can take literally 1 hour to get out of because of the poor traffic layout system. Presentation. The toilets and the store are always immaculate throughout and are cleaned regularly.
Selection & range: Waitrose is part of the John Lewis company so even if you may not find something that you require in Waitrose you will probably be able to find it in one of the John Lewis branches. In the Waitrose stores you will always be able to find the food product that you are looking for. You can now feed your family on a tight budget. This is because of the essential Waitrose range (For the middle classes. I actually found that certain products from the essential range was actually cheaper than the Tesco Own brand!!!
Quality: The quality is made to a very high standard. Even if you find that a certain product is not up to Waitrose's usual standard Waitrose are always happy to replace the product as well as refund you. As far as I know Waitrose is the only supermarket to do this. On a particular day for instance we paid a hefty £20.00 for 1kg of fillet steak. When home we found it to be of awful quality. When we took it to the customer service department not only did we get our money back the gave us 3kgs of steak...... free! that's £80.00 worth!
The Cafe: Although expensive the Cafe offers a nice range of food in my local Waitrose. I prefer to buy the hot items as buying a cake there seems ridiculous when they add £0.30 on top of that already expensive Chocolate Berliner! On the cake counter it cost £0.65 however in the Cafe it costs £1.05. I would rather just buy the same cake from the cake counter and eat it outside and save a little bit of money personally!!! However the hot food sector seems reasonably priced (Though £3.75 for a bacon sandwich seems steep!!!) The staff however are polite and friendly.
Waiting / queues: Ever since Waitrose has introduced it's quick scan system, were scan the price tag as you shop and then it is scanned again electronically at the till you will rarely wait for more than two minutes to be checked out... However on a more negative note Waitrose have to (which is not there fault- yet its a bit inconvenient) do a re-scan check were they put all your shopping back through manually- they do this once a month to make sure you do not deliberately not scan items and therefore take them free of charge. (You Waitrose customers will know what I mean!)
Customer service: The customer service is always good because the staff are very polite and friendly they are always ready to help you what ever your problem. This is because they are especially trained to deal with all kinds of customer. This is therefore why Waitrose charge extra on there items because you. now pay for the service and the convenient way to shop with the scanner!
After sales service (Delivery) When we asked for a Delivery the store made certain that what we ordered was what we got, everything was in stock. The Delivery men were very polite and helpful and were on time and because we spent more than £50.00 we got our delivery free!!!!
Staff Knowledge: The staff are incredibly friendly and will always try to help if there is a problem. They appear happy in their job... This is probably because the better the staff member looks after the customer the higher the bonus they get at the end of the year. I was speaking to one member and they got £1500 bonus!!!! If they cannot help you they will take you to the customer service desk at the fron of the store.
Freshness of the goods: the Fruit and vegetables are always in a fresh condition they last for over a week on there own, you can make this time period go further if you buy the "stay fresh bags" if you put the Fruit and vegetables in this you will find that the product such as a Mango can last for over 2 weeks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
My Verdict: I would strongly recommend that if you can shop at Waitrose because of the quality of the product is fantastic and the atmosphere of the store is just so good. I admit you do pay over the odds on branded items such as the names of Branston and Heinz for instance. But I believe its worth spending a little extra for the excellent customer service you get!!
I hope you now understand why many people pay over the odds on there items!!! It may not be because they are "snobs" It is because they are willing to pay for good service and you get a convenient way to shop!
Edit your rev
We have only been shopping at Waitrose for slightly over a year. Before this, we were Sainsbury's people but had to switch as this is now our closest supermarket.
As a family of limited means, we were initially a little worried about how we would cope with the cost of the weekly shop, but we haven't found any difference after all!
We tend not to buy much 'ready made' food at all, and I think this is where we have been able to avoid much of the expense associated with Waitrose. Their 'ingredients' are reasonably priced and they have a great system of price reductions at the end of the day, so if you have freezer space this is the time to go and stock up on your meat and fish.
I also have to comment on the 'ethics' of Waitrose. We are greatly comforted by the fact that they make many of the decisions for you. By that I mean that you can ONLY get fairtrade bananas, and it is EASY to buy british, or organic, or ethically sourced produce. Unlike some supermarkets, where you could search all day for products that meet your ethical standards and not find anything.
I have to say, too, that I LIKE the fact that Waitrose have pricey, posh things on offer! I'm not forced to buy them, after all, but if you want a really special packet of biscuits, or a fancy hand cream for a gift - they have it.
I also find the aisles are well ordered, tidy, and the staff are readily available to help you out if you can't find what you are looking for.
Waitrose shopping and delivery service
IN STORE SHOPPING
In my local Waitrose , it's a pleasure to shop, - wide aisles so don't have to navigate round other shoppers stopping for a gossip in middle of aisle you want to be down. They don't move items around so you always know where everything is. At most, I've had 2 people in front of me at the checkout (and that is rare even on a Friday evening) without the irritation of other customers abusing the "10 items or less" rule and staff not enforcing this. Staff are polite and helpful.
The Waitrose reputation for high quality goods is well founded with some innovative food items. I know some have the opinion that it is more expensive but with regular offers and Waitrose own brand, as well as discipline not to buy all the tempting things that catch your eye, I have found my costs to be similar to other major supermarkets but with better quality, especially in fruit and vegetables.
There are many options for shopping other than buying in store. You can also order for delivery or for collection later. You can buy in-store and have delivered later - great if you shop for frozen food in your lunch break but can't get home in time. For a £50 shop it's free delivery.
The Waitrose website is easy to navigate. For regular items use Favourites list or look at previous orders and amend. For quick searches, use "shopping jotter" facility to do entire search. Otherwise search for each item and narrow it down by various options. You can check for offers on the website too.
Delivery staff are polite, reliable & friendly - I live on second floor but staff are happy to carry all the bags upstairs. If state you want substitutes you will only pay price of what you originally ordered - I have had some better quality products provided at "bargain" prices due to this.
Items come in separate bags for Freezer, Store-cupboard & Fridge so easy and quick to put away your order.
Driver will also take away bags for recycling.
In all my dealings with Waitrose, they have been polite, efficient and - much to my surprise - very good value for money. I recommend them to anyone who has the preconception that they are expensive.
I have shopped at Waitrose for many years - the quality of both the food and the service is way beyond what any other store offers. I do shop for the "household" bits elsewhere though - ie washing up liquid/washing powder etc (as you can but these cheaper elsewhere) - but I buy our meat/fish and main meal ingredients in Waitrose (the quality really is far better than any other of the supermarkets). My policy is - if it's going into my mouth I'd rather it came from Waitrose - if it's for cleaning/washing up etc than you can get it cheaper elsewhere.....
I hate food shopping except for food shopping in M&S and waitrose, I always thought that if you shopped there you were rich so it felt like a treat. Waitrose however seem to have adjusted their prices so that even though you get the same quality and service its cheaper - bargain - I now do my weekly shop with waitrose so feel quite spoilt without being left skint!
Waitrose is part of the John Lewis Partnership. They currently have 228 stores and have plans to open many more stores. They are the 6th largest supermarket in the UK. Many of the stores have cafes in them serving sandwiches,salads and Paninis rather than fry ups.
The supermartket sells the same as most - food, cleaning products, bathing products and pet supplies. The Saltash branch also has a make up part, kids toys, TV's and electrical goods, books and household goods such as towels, duvet covers ect.
I cant speak for all Waitrose stores but I think they all have similar times -
Monday - Friday Saltash store is open 8am-8pm, Saturday 8am-7pm and Sunday is10am-4pm. I dont think any are open 24/7.
At present the staff wear black and green uniforms and the management dress in suits. They are very friendly and helpful. I have yet to meet a rude member of staff in Waitrose and they all seem pleased to be able to help.
The Waitrose toilets are always clean and smell fresh.
I have recently been using the delivery service as it is free if you spend over £50. The website is easy to use, you register first, then sign in, choose when you want your shopping to be delivered (2 hr slots throughout the day and evening) and then you start to shop. The groceries are under headings or you can type in what you want and it will bring it up. There is a facility to cancel or add more items and it gives you a running total of what you have spent so far (although this does not show any 2 for 1 discounts ect on it so your bill might be less)
Once you have finished shopping you go to the checkout and pay.
You are then sent an email with your list on it.
There is also a facility where you can shop in the same way as getting it delivered but you have the option to pick it up at the store.
The first time I used the home delivery service I was really pleased with the service, the delivery driver was excellent, carrying my shopping to the kitchen and was bang on time. He was really friendly and explained all about the returns policy and if any altenatives had been put in my shopping. When I put the shopping away though I did notice that many of the fresh produce had the sell by date as the following day. I emailed waitrose not to complain but to inform them that I thought this was a bit naff and I really didnt want to eat my whole shopping in one day and could they make sure it would not happen again. I recieved a lovely email back very quickly apologising and assuring me it would not happen again and refunding my money. I could not expect better service than that. To this day it has never happened again and I am really pleased with the quality the food delivered.
I cant recommend Waitrose highly enough, they provide a fantastic service for a great price.
I have to be honhest that I am some what of a food snob, loving food that tastes as close to perfection as is humanly possible. And that's where Waitrose comes into my life. As the premium supermarket in the UK, they offer a service that others can not match.
Waitrose stores are unlike other supermarkets, with ilses 3.5 trolley widths apart, meaning you can actually pass other consumers in the isles, without pushing their troleies out of the way. The stores comprise higher quality fixtrues and marble like tiles, with a much more up market feel than the other 4 major supermarkets. As with other retailers, Waitrose have a range of store sizes, with my local being the largest style of store on the outskirts of the city! This mean less traffic jams, and as an added bonus parking is free when you make a purchase!
Waitrose is more expensive than the major 4 for many day to day branded products, for example Hienz bakebeans, and there own branded products. However, with own brand products I truely believe you get what you pay for, and Waitrose deliver premium products. For example their cured meats are far less fatty than other supermarket brands,even the preimum ranges of their competitors do not have the same quality and tase! The ranges also tend to be larger, as their is less focus on brands and more focus on the range of products in store. The staff also appear to be more aware of the products and to be able to offer better advice on the meat/fish/deli counters.
A final perk, albeit judgemental, is that the clientel are more polite and less likely to insult you, or push you out of the way! I dont mean to offend anyone here, but I have encounted more rude people in other supermarkets!
Is it worth paying a premium for many products that are the same? Maybe not, I do tend to bulk order branded products online from other retails, utilising their home shopping channels. This means I enjoy the better experience of shopping instore for fresh products, and still enjoy the comeptive prices of the big 4 for non-fresh products
Overall, Waitrose offer higher quality and a better shopping experience, but at a premium that is worth paying. Just shop online at the big 4 for branded goods once a quater or so, if you can plan that far ahead!