Waitrose has ruled out a future acquisition of northern
chain Booths, after the two retailers announced plans to
join forces on a new buying alliance. The move will
allow both retailers to make savings by negotiating
together on branded goods.
Booths is often referred to as the northern Waitrose
because of its focus on high-quality fresh food and
Waitrose MD Mark Price said the deal would take
advantage of the many synergies between the two
?There are already many similarities between the
Waitrose and Booths brands in terms of our focus on food
quality, the provenance of our products and customer
service. This alliance will benefit customers of both
Waitrose and Booths for the long term by ensuring prices
within both shops are highly competitive through greater
Edwin Booth, Booths? chairman, added: ?We are looking
forward to the alliance enabling us to continue to trade
strongly to the benefit of our customers.?
But Aidan Bocci, chief executive of business consultancy
Commercial Advantage, speculated that the move may
enable Waitrose to find out more about Booths before
making a bid. ?They are looking to create efficiencies
within the supply chain,? he said. ?Merging may well be
one of the options going forward. Forming a strategic
alliance helps move the companies along the right road.?
This was vigorously denied. A Waitrose spokeswoman said
it would ?absolutely not? happen and a Booths
spokeswoman insisted: ?This is just a buying alliance.?
added there would be no merging of supply or
?Should the alliance be successful, this
will put Booths in a position to be more competitive on
branded goods,? said a Booths spokeswoman.
The move follows the decision by Booths in July to end
its buying alliance with Nisa-Today?s. It will
officially cut ties with Nisa at the end of the year.