Newest Review: ... in the oven (I am a local resident of Raynes Park and live just across the Waitrose store). The manager/director aggressively chased m... more
Pleasant staff, well laid out but can be pricey
Member Name: CR1980
Advantages: Friendly staff, well laid out, good ranges
Disadvantages: Small car parking spaces, can be expensive
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.
Summary: Well stocked with a wide range of foods but may cost a bit more than your usually weekly shop