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Waitrose Shutterstock/D K Grove
Waitrose was voted the top UK grocery chain in a recent survey.
  • Waitrose is a grocery chain in the UK. It was recently ranked first on a list of seven chains, including well-known stores Tesco and Sainsbury’s, in a survey done by Market Force Information in May 2018.
  • 4,300 consumers were surveyed for the report and asked questions about their experiences shopping in these stores.
  • Here’s what it is like to shop at Waitrose.

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The UK grocery wars are heating up as Aldi and Lidl continue to grow rapidly and take market share, working their way up the ranks to become the fifth and seventh largest grocery chains, respectively. Now they have their sights set on the US.

Waitrose, the posh UK grocery chain that is beloved by Kate Middleton and is said to boost property prices when it opens in new areas, has increasingly found itself losing market share to these discount players. However, according to a recent survey done by Market Force Information, it still ranks best in class when it comes to consumer perception.

4,300 consumers aged 18 and over were surveyed for the report, which was released in May 2018. Waitrose scored highest of the seven main chains — Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Morrisons, Lidl, and Aldi — on assortment, layout, and cleanliness of its stores.

With this in mind, I visited one of its stores in the UK:

1/27

I visited a Waitrose store near Milton Keynes, a large town that’s around 1.5 hours from Central London. This location opened in 2013. Disclaimer: I am a Brit, and this was not the first time that I had shopped at a Waitrose store.

I visited a Waitrose store near Milton Keynes, a large town that's around 1.5 hours from Central London. This location opened in 2013. Disclaimer: I am a Brit, and this was not the first time that I had shopped at a Waitrose store.
Business Insider/Mary Hanbury

It’s around 30,000 square feet in size, which is about a third of the size of a typical Walmart and just smaller than the average Whole Foods store in the US.

2/27

Passing through the double doors, the first thing I noticed is that the store was modern and bright.

Passing through the double doors, the first thing I noticed is that the store was modern and bright.
Business Insider/Mary Hanbury

3/27

The entrance area was enticing — fresh fruit and vegetables were front and center, and there was a coffee station to the left.

The entrance area was enticing — fresh fruit and vegetables were front and center, and there was a coffee station to the left.
Business Insider/Mary Hanbury

4/27

This instantly set an uplifting tone.

This instantly set an uplifting tone.
Business Insider/Mary Hanbury

5/27

There was a wide selection on offer, including “perfectly ripe” fruits.

There was a wide selection on offer, including
Business Insider/Mary Hanbury

6/27

Grab-and-go items such as sandwiches and salads were located close to the front of the store to make it easy for lunchtime customers to get in and out easily.

Grab-and-go items such as sandwiches and salads were located close to the front of the store to make it easy for lunchtime customers to get in and out easily.
Business Insider/Mary Hanbury

7/27

Then there were the eye-catching seasonal offers, which were put in prime places to lure in the bargain hunters.

Then there were the eye-catching seasonal offers, which were put in prime places to lure in the bargain hunters.
Business Insider/Mary Hanbury

8/27

In the survey, Waitrose scored highly for its ease of finding items. On first impression, this held true — the layout was logical, and each aisle was clearly labeled.

In the survey, Waitrose scored highly for its ease of finding items. On first...