In the UK, the property market is known to be expensive, and in some areas it is pushed even higher by the Waitrose effect. For those who don’t know, Waitrose is not a school, nor an economic phenomenon, but a supermarket.
Waitrose is a supermarket chain with about 350 stores in the UK. It is small in comparison to other supermarket chains with only 5% of the market share. Most of their stores are located in the more desirable areas with quite a high concentration in the south of England and greater London. Research has shown that having a Waitrose nearby increases property prices by nearly £40k or 10% more than those in surrounding areas. When the Waitrose effect first became apparent, many home owners got very exicted when they found out Waitrose was going to open a store near them, as it could increase the value of their property.
Unlike the other major supermarkets in UK, they do not offer a points reward programme. Instead their rewards are much more immediate and practical. For example, their free tea or coffee (proper roasted beans, not instant coffee) offer is so popular that sadly people started to abuse the system when it was first launched. In a typical British honesty system, this is a self-service offer for shoppers but many non shoppers just helped themselves, sometimes to multiple cups each day without ever spending a penny in store. Now, you have to show your membership card (which is free to apply ) to get your free daily drink.
The other offer is a free newspaper. When this offer was first launched, it was the most attractive on the weekends. If you spend at least ￡5 (including the cost of the newspaper) you get the newspaper free. The newspapers on offer were the more established quality ones such as The Times, Guardian, The Daily Telegraph etc. With some of these papers costing up to ￡2.7 on a Sunday this was an extremely good offer as you only end up paying ￡2.3 for ￡5 worth of goods. Since then, the minimum spend has been increased to ￡10 each day, and even the entertaining tabloid, The Sun is included in the offer now.
My favourite offer from Waitrose is their Pick Your Own Offer. This is where you pick 10 items from their list of hundreds, and get 20% off every time you buy it. Not everything is on the list such as expensive wine, but it covers enough daily staples such as good quality eggs, and their delicious cheese and sausages. You can even change your list once a month, so if you get tired of eating something too often, you can easily switch to something else.
You may think that I seem to know Waitrose pretty well? Yes, you’ve guessed it, we did use to live near a Waitrose in the UK. I didn’t shop at Waitrose because I’m a middle class, but because I realized their products aren’t in fact that expensive. In fact, a lot of their products are actually priced the same as other supermarkets, and they often run BOGOF promotions like any other supermarkets. In addition they also have their own budget ‘Essentials’ range of products. So contrary to believe, once you take into account of all the offers especially the membership ones, I don’t actually pay much more. The slight premium you do pay on fresh meat or fruit and vegetable is reflected in the quality you get which I think is definitely worth it.
聲明 : 我寫這篇文章並沒有收到任何報酬，我的博客(暫時)還未有那麼大影響力!
Declaration : I have not received any benefit of any kind to write this article. My blog isn’t that powerful (yet) !