Waitrose to take over Locks Heath Co-operative store

High-class food retailer Waitrose has taken over the Co-operative store in the Locks Heath Centre.

Pic of Locks Heath Co-operative store

Locks Heath Co-operative store which is to become a Waitrose supermarket in February 2014

Waitrose, which is  the food shop of  John Lewis, has agreed with The Co-operative Group to acquire its shop at the Locks Heath Shopping Village in February 2014.

All 122 employees at the shop will be offered the opportunity to join Waitrose and become Partners in the John Lewis Partnership. Waitrose is also hoping to create additional jobs at the branch.

As Partners in the John Lewis Partnership they have a stake in the success of the business, a say in how it is run and a share in profits.

The Co-op branch will continue to trade as normal until 20th February next year. It will then close for approximately five weeks while the shop is transformed, before opening as a Waitrose in March 2014.

Waitrose will be launching its Community Matters and Partner Volunteering schemes in Locks Heath, which will see £12,000 and 250 hours donated to local causes nominated by customers each year.

Nigel Keen, Director of Development at Waitrose, said: “We have wanted to open a shop in Locks Heath for a long time and are looking forward to becoming part of the local community next year and welcoming the new employees to Waitrose and the John Lewis Partnership.”

Waitrose, like John Lewis, regularly price checks everyday items against competitors and the ‘essential Waitrose’ range offers more than 1,400 everyday shopping items at everyday, affordable prices.

Waitrose was named favourite supermarket in a customer satisfaction survey by Which? Magazine and top Food & Grocery Retailer in a poll of 6,000 shoppers by retail analysts Verdict Research.


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74 Responses to Waitrose to take over Locks Heath Co-operative store

  1. Richard Thornton

    November 12, 2013 at 10:20 am

    Excellent news!

    Shame that the Co-op has had to take the brunt of all the proposed changes in the Locks Heath Centre (and so much of the criticism) but this will certainly liven up the plans that NewRiver Retail (NRR) had for the centre.

    I’m sure I read that NRR were depending on the Co-op giving up the lease on the property to allow it to carry on with the plans for the Morrisons store etc?

    • Liz Jolly

      November 12, 2013 at 8:48 pm

      Great news, it is high time that we had a local Waitrose. I will now visit Locks Heath Shopping Centre :-)

    • Julie

      November 13, 2013 at 5:35 pm

      This is great, but would have been so much better if it had been morrisons, the co-ops always been to expensive for my liking, and waitrose is very much the same, how about thinking about the elderly, getting their shopping a little cheaper

  2. June brown

    November 12, 2013 at 11:56 am

    Will peacocks go ?

  3. Jason David

    November 12, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    Wow, great news. I’ve never really liked the Co-operative. I’ll be spending a bit more time at the Locks Heath Shopping Village!

  4. Helen

    November 12, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    That’s fantastic news. The Co-op are useless, they have very little variety since they put Peacocks and a cafe in there. We very rarely use it because they never have what we want and end up going to Tesco at Whiteley or Bursledon. Providing Waitrose have a large variety, we will use it.

  5. Rachel

    November 12, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    Exciting news for shoppers! Can anyone please clarify whether this is “instead of” or “as well as” Morrisons? Many thanks.

    • Karen

      November 12, 2013 at 11:22 pm

      As far as we know Morrisons had planning permission turned down

  6. b e cunningham

    November 12, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    great news I shop in Gosport Waitrose and have done for 30 odd years, this will be great for me as its only a mile away. Love it so pleased.

  7. Sadie

    November 12, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    This is wonderful news! We used to never use Locks Heath centre as it used to have little to offer, but since the new management team took over, it has been revitalised and now, we rarely travel to Fareham like we used to do. We have our groceries delivered and use the centre for the butcher, produce and wine shop. We rarely if ever stop at the Co op as the shelves are rarely stock, often the food is anything but fresh and it is more of a hassle to navigate the limited supplies they do put on their shelves.

    Well done to the centre and to Waitrose for bringing us more choices!

  8. Bob

    November 12, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    no i like the co-op it is cool there :(

  9. Rosalind Scearce

    November 12, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    Wow! That’s great news, the Co-Op has been good but isnt the best supermarket around and we only use it if we have run out of something as its the closest shop to us. Since my Daughter moved to the New Forest earlier this year we shop at the Waitrose in Ringwood whenever we are down that way and their basics range are lovely and varied, the fruit and veg is lovely and fresh and I love reading their magazine too. Its about time Locks Heath had a makeover and this news is great for everyone in the area. Cant wait till next March for it to open.

  10. T Burgess

    November 12, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    hmmm not happy about this , Waitrose is not the sort of shop that I think will do well at the centre. remember a lot of pensioners shop there and people with young families, they want a shop that has offers and good deals… Waitrose does not cover this enough for peoples weekly shop, its very much like a marks and spencer’s . I was in the Co- op today when I member of staff told me and all the people around me seemed very upset and angry also couldn’t understand why they didn’t do a survey to see what the community wanted there ‘ as it is the community that will use it. I always used Tesco before I moved to the area, but I am sorry to say I will be going back to Tesco once the co-op goes and so will a lot of others i have spoken to today … what a shame for the centre, lucky we still have Iceland I suppose

    • Julie

      November 13, 2013 at 5:36 pm

      I fully agree with this

    • Chris

      November 13, 2013 at 11:41 pm

      If you can afford the Coop prices I think you will find Waitrose a breath of fresh air. They are a very competitive group with a good basics range and lots of price matching with Tesco. We are really pleased to hear the news and will certainly be using Locksheath Village come March

    • Jon

      November 16, 2013 at 10:44 pm

      Well i think by the sound of it alot of people disagree with you, reading the comments on here! Now waitrose is coming i know i will shop here alot more as finally there is some good quality and nice food chain coming local. locks heath needs change as it is so boring up there now and waitrose will hopefully bring that. Families and pensioners will be able to shop there if they can shop at co-op, it’s probably gonna cheaper. People that don’t want change are just grumpy and need to give waitrose a chance

  11. Sam Blyth

    November 12, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    I have noticed the changes that have been happening over the last few months down locks heath centre and have to say they all seem to be for the better. I do tend to use the co-op (purley for convienience more than anything) but have always found them to be quite over priced and the “fresh” fruit and veg sometimes left little to be desired, however could anyone shed any light on the value of Waitrose? I have always thought they are one of the more expensive supermarkets and having young children as many people do, the weekly shopping budget has to go quite far. But on the whole think this will be a positive move for the area.

    • Sadie

      November 13, 2013 at 7:46 am

      I usually do comparison shops, what I find is that they are, all equally the same when you take into consideration volumes, quantity. Waitrose has an upmarket reputation, however, on balance, it’s the same as Tesco, Sainsburys, so on.

      The priciest anywhere is the Co-Op, often .50p to one pound more on all their products, unless you want to shop deals only, even then it takes extraordinary time to find that one deal that is actually a deal. I think Waitrose will serve the community well, in the comparison shops that I do, we can actually save money, particularly if you drive to do your shopping, minus the cost of petrol add in the savings in convenience. The Co-Op isn’t convenient when it consistently charges more for goods.

  12. Yvonne Bull

    November 12, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    Exciting news for all the Co op staff but I was very saddened when I shopped in Peacocks to find that they are all going to be made redundant. What will happen to them? It would be nice if Waitrose were to also offer them positions within the new store ,I always found the service from Peacocks staff to be excellent and we will miss them all.

    • Sue

      November 14, 2013 at 7:45 pm

      I agree with you

  13. TC

    November 12, 2013 at 5:39 pm

    First of all, good to see WWG back up and running as this is ONLY reliable and up to date local news service for Locks Heath.
    There is a myth that Waitrose is expensive, let me explain why this not the case for all products-
    1. Most manufacturers of branded products will not allow one supermarket to be much cheaper than another. They will find ways to balance out any differences.
    2. Most comparisons are done by not comparing like with like, eg. ASDA smart price v Tesco Finest is like comparing apples and pears.
    Waitrose ‘essentials’ are as cheap as anywhere else for mainstream own label.
    3. The main price difference is on fresh food where animal welfare, traceability and support for British farmers comes at a cost. Any fool can import cheap French milk, bottle it in the UK and legally call it British. Waitrose and M&S are the few supermarkets who pay farmers premiums for their efforts.
    4. Sign up for the ‘my waitrose’ card and there be discounts on everday items, everyday.
    How do I know , I’ve been in the food trade (yes Waitrose) all my working life (45years) so speak with some authority.
    5. Staff will well trained and looked after.
    My main concern is where Morrisons now fits into the new development ? Have we been hoodwinked all along ……

  14. Joan

    November 12, 2013 at 6:10 pm

    Can anyone confirm whether Waitrose is buying the lease as well ?

  15. Julie

    November 12, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    I can’t believe it because I like doing my food shopping and also loved shopping for clothes so I’m very sad peacocks is going and I feel for the staff why can’t waitrose keep peacocks I wish all the staff good luck for the further

  16. Delly

    November 12, 2013 at 8:19 pm

    Cannot wait to see Waitrose in the
    Locks Heath Shopping Village! Super quality products, never knowingly undersold. It’s no more expensive than the Co-op but will hopefully carry a better selection of goods.

  17. keith

    November 12, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    We are very excited about this , i beleive we need a change for the better , some of my family work for waitrose and they are well looked after , when ivisit them in there store they are always happy to help and the staff freindly , i just hope that the staff become more freindlier in the locksheath one . but we will have to wait and see .

  18. Claire

    November 12, 2013 at 9:27 pm

    Fantastic news, Waitrose we have been waiting for you. Hope you will have a cafe.

  19. Sam

    November 12, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    I am very pleased to be given the opportunity to work for waitrose I will miss coop but we are all still together I am really sorry for the peacocks staff hopefully waitrose can help with that

  20. Gillian Weeks

    November 12, 2013 at 10:23 pm

    Waitrose is no more expensive then the co op but the quality is far better, we will have far more choice as well. The staff are always well trained to be helpful and polite and they are well looked after by the company. I believe that the staff in the co op will be really happy with there new employer once they have settled down to how Waitrose operate, standards are high but the benefits are good. It’s always pleasant to shop in Waitrose because the stores are quiet with no mindless music and no one shouting through the intercom every five minutes. For those that say they won’t shop at the store because it is too expensive, give it a chance because it’s swings and round a bouts and most basic items are no more expensive then the co op which isn’t cheap in itself is it! The fresh chickens in Waitrose are the best I have ever purchased, great quality.

  21. Clive wilson

    November 12, 2013 at 10:38 pm

    Spooky as the wife and I were talking about the need for LHC to have a quality store instead of the hopeless Co-op and now we read that the best, Waitrose, will be taking over. So no more long trips to Chandlers Ford or Southsea for really quality food.
    Best news at the LHC for a long time.

  22. stephen

    November 12, 2013 at 11:16 pm

    Two supermarkets or one?
    At a recent Western Wards Community Action Team (CAT) meeting the Leader of Fareham Borough Council stated categorically that planning permission would NOT be granted for two supermarkets at the Locks Heath Centre. If that is to be believed – it means Waitrose only from next March and no massive Morrisons on the green space. I am delighted the Co op staff are to be offered jobs with Waitrose. They have had to put up with a lot of unjustified stick.

  23. Mrs MH

    November 13, 2013 at 7:13 am

    Can we have a Waitrose in Stubbington to replace Budgens? :)

  24. Robert Lamb

    November 13, 2013 at 8:08 am

    This is good news, and great news for the staff of the Co-op. The Co Op really doesnt meet the demand of the local area these days, which is a shame. However Waitrose will bring qaulity, service and value for money to the area and it will mean I will no longer need to travel to hedge end or Whiteley. I do hope this is the end of the plans for Morrisons which is far to big for the area and will mean green spaces remains.

  25. Gill Meredith

    November 13, 2013 at 8:20 am

    I feel really sad that coop is going its served the community well, I for one feel waitrose is too expensive to shop its a M&S just for the treats now and again and yes they are good to their staff, but at the cost of their customers, and to lose peacocks will detract from the shopping at the centre.
    I think Iceland will benefit especially for the elderly population, where their products are really good value for money, and the products are good quality .

  26. Leslie

    November 13, 2013 at 8:26 am

    I’ve always been a little confused with the Morrisons redevelopment plan.

    If you look at the website of New River Retail who own the LHC you will see it states they do not own the supermarket’s lease.

    I can therefore only assume that they hoped to push through the planning permission for the new Morrisons and hope to buy out the lease on the Co-Op so they could knock it down and rebuild on the site.

    Presumably, Waitrose must have arranged a good length of lease from the stores owners so I presume the Morrisons plan is dead in the water as the plans for the redevelopment show the area that is currently the supermarket being open space and parking.

    I can’t see Waitrose making the mistake of only planning to be in Locks Heath for a few years before their shop gets razed. Or maybe they’ve done a deal with New River Retail to take over the new supermarket once the redevelopment is complete and Morrisons won’t appear at LHC after all?

    • Flo

      November 13, 2013 at 3:19 pm

      That is an interesting thought, Leslie. Waitrose stores tend to be quite a bit smaller in area than the other major supermarkets. Their largest store in Southend- on Sea is 56 000 square feet about midway between the size of the existing Co-op and the proposed Morrisons.

  27. Hannah

    November 13, 2013 at 8:40 am

    I think this will be great for all the older families that can afford it but what about younger families? We can barely afford to live around here anymore never mind shopping at waitrose! I’ll still use asda unless they fancy popping one of them in there?

  28. ALLAN

    November 13, 2013 at 10:27 am

    Waitroe have taken Co ops long leasehold interest. this will kill off the Morrisons and therefore kill off the leisure centre which was being paid for by the developer as planning gain.

  29. Marry

    November 13, 2013 at 11:51 am

    I’m so sad peacocks is going I only went to Locksheath for peacocks and I feel for the staff to lose there jobs at xmas waitrose I hope you can offer them a job because the service was excellent and they deserve an interview

    • Sam

      November 14, 2013 at 6:48 am

      Yes they are wonderful staff in peacocks they deserve to be happy and have a job

  30. Wendy

    November 13, 2013 at 11:59 am

    I am very sad that co op is closing and I shall miss peacocks very much but great for co op staff but sad for peacocks staff I hope waitrose is aware staff are losing there jobs and can help them I felt for then yesterday when I went to shop there I wish all the staff all the best for the further

    • Lisa

      November 14, 2013 at 7:36 pm

      I agree with you I will miss peacocks I only went to centre for them

    • Clare

      November 15, 2013 at 6:11 pm

      Agee with you very sad

  31. Karen

    November 13, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    All the people praising this decision must have the disposable income to warrant a trip to Waitrose. Quite disappointing to be honest – again, there’s a weird misconception that everyone living in Locks Heath is well-off.
    More people going further afield to the evil Tesco I think.

    • Robert Lamb

      November 13, 2013 at 9:27 pm

      There is a misconception that Waitrose is very expensive, which is on the whole wrong. Yes they have their exclusive ranges and high end products as do other supermarkets, but the normal every day groceries, fresh meats, and value range is no dearer than Sainsburys or Tescos. Ther are also as part of the John Lewis Partnership who are never knowingly undersold. Plus they will match their product ranges to suit all budgets in the area, it would not make any good business sense to open up just offering the most expensive products and organic ranges.

  32. Richard

    November 13, 2013 at 8:20 pm

    Re: Leslie’s post regarding the co-op lease – I read that the owners of the Centre were in fact negotiating with the Co-op to buy the lease – which I guess they would have to ‘expire’ in some way to allow them to build the new large Morrisons supermarket.

    It will be interesting to see how genuine the owners (NewRiver Retail) are in intending to improve the Centre – or whether is was yet just another development strategy (with suitable ‘sweeteners’ for the council and public in the form of a new ‘community/leisure centre’) in order to get as much profit out the site as possible.

    And as for Waitrose being so expensive, they guarantee to match Tesco’s prices – to quote from their website “I am pleased to tell you that our prices on branded grocery products are now identical to Tesco’s, excluding promotions.”, plus they have their own “Essentials” range which is similar to the other supermarkets ‘Basic’ ranges, so I’m not sure why so many people are criticising this move. Especially as the Co-op was no longer cheap for many items.

    Add to that, the fact that they are renowned for training staff, and have a very good staff package – I for one, and more than willing to give them the benefit of the doubt and try them out when the new store opens.

    • flo

      November 14, 2013 at 10:50 pm

      You make an interesting point about NewRiver Retail. I asked about the Waitrose scenario at NRR’s consultation and was told by one of the representatives NewRiver Retail would ‘walk’ if the Co-op gave up their lease to Waitrose and the Morrison’s development couldn’t get planning permission to go ahead. Mind you he also told me he had seen the Co-op’s lease and there were 66 years left not 966! So much misinformation and speculation!

  33. lily

    November 13, 2013 at 8:28 pm

    i am not very pleased with this i loved the co-op 3 for 1 offer, i brought it for me and my friends sometimes i really liked it but lets try out morrisons to see if they are better and i do hope so

  34. Lizzy

    November 13, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    Waitrose food is much better quality than other supermarkets because Waitrose produce their own food from their own farm at Leckford near Andover. Their food is therefore fresher and tastier than the other supermarkets and of course it is BRITISH not foreign. I would rather pay a bit more if Waitrose ARE dearer and get QUALITY in date food than cheaper often out of or near end of date food as is the case with Tesco and M & S lately. Providing they are well stocked and have a large variety, I will definitely shop there.

  35. Lisa E

    November 13, 2013 at 10:46 pm

    I’ll miss Peacocks but not the co-op in terms of food stuff. Peacocks are handy for things like tights or their jeans which are comfy, but always found their food to be of a poorer quality to say Tesco. Another factor which I don’t like about the co-op is that you queue all the time – never enough checkouts open. I bet Waitrose will never allow this.

    • Sam

      November 14, 2013 at 6:52 am

      Lisa we do are best in the coop we wouldn’t let you queue if we didn’t have too we do are best with the situation we are in and have been for the last year

      • Sue

        November 14, 2013 at 7:44 pm

        Sam I agree with you co op staff did there best , I will miss peacocks very much and I feel for the team I hope waitrose gives them a interview they deserve it

        • Sam

          November 14, 2013 at 9:37 pm

          Well said Lisa

          • Clare

            November 15, 2013 at 6:09 pm

            Agree with you sue

  36. Lindylou

    November 14, 2013 at 1:00 am

    Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it ! Waitrose do comparisson prices with Tesco so I cant see why people are saying they will shop at Tesco. Give Waitrose a chance. What the centre needs to do is get rid of those ‘tacky’ market stalls. They make the concourse look untidy and detract from the shops who pay high rent & rates.

    • Lizzy

      November 14, 2013 at 10:28 am

      And get rid of the overrated and over priced COSTA COFFEE. It is in the way of getting to the other shops, especially when the centre is very busy. There are plenty of places in the centre to get a coffee. The shops wanted the covered walkway to be taken down because they said that they said it obscured the view of the shops and yet permission was granted by a majority of one or two votes on the council to allow it to be built and yet that obscures the view of most of the shops!!

      • Gaz

        November 14, 2013 at 3:33 pm

        Costa is popular, so that would be a daft move to close it. Waitrose is a great idea.

  37. Lindylou

    November 14, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    The covered walkway gives shelter from the rain. If it went so would the customers who do not want to be dripped on by leaky gutters etc. Customers would not browse but get back to their cars as quickly as possible !

    • Lizzy

      November 14, 2013 at 8:48 pm

      The covered walkway from between Martin’s and the Co-op was taken down because the shop owners complained that it obscured the view of their shops!!

      • Lizzy

        November 14, 2013 at 8:52 pm

        There used to be a covered walkway from Martin’s to the clock tower and from the clock tower to the Co-op.

  38. Jacki

    November 15, 2013 at 8:24 am

    Everyone seems to be singing the praises of waitrose. I have to shop there in chandlers ford for my stepfather, but as a pensioner myself, I certainly couldn’t afford to shop there on a weekly basis. I visit verwood during the summer, and use morrisons. Their fruit, veg, bakery and fresh meat are fantastic, and I was excited about their arrival, and the new leisure centre. As normal. . . . Not coming to fruition. This area does seem to be affluent, but I have worked closely in this community, and all
    is not all it seems, there are many many more families struggling. A waitrose, rather than a morrisons, may well spell disaster for our community village. Watch and see . . .

    • Happy

      November 15, 2013 at 12:08 pm

      “Waitrose, like John Lewis, regularly price checks everyday items against competitors and the ‘essential Waitrose’ range offers more than 1,400 everyday shopping items at everyday, affordable prices”. I have just done a price comparison on the internet with Tesco and Waitrose are the same price as Tesco on branded goods!!

  39. Clare

    November 15, 2013 at 6:08 pm

    I don’t care about what food shop is comming every one can shop around for the right price , what I do care about is I won’t be able to go to peacock il have to go to whitley and I feel for them lovely girls at peacocks who have made my shopping exprence very enjoyable and always looked after me with vouchers when they had them I hope waitrose look at you for jobs you deserve it

  40. Les Hayden

    November 16, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    Would have preferred a Morrisons but at least I don’t have long to listen to the Co-op disco any more

  41. Aero

    November 16, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    Could you please include a spell check for the comments box.

    • Andy

      November 17, 2013 at 4:47 pm

      Is this all you got to say

  42. Jackie

    November 16, 2013 at 5:38 pm

    I am not happy that peacocks is going I love that shop great value for someone on a budget and I am sad to hear there losing there job I thought waitrose said there are taken on all the 122 but this is only co op staff this is so sad know one should loss there jobs

  43. Karen

    November 17, 2013 at 10:26 am

    Excellent news, no more travelling to Gosport for Waitrose. The Co-Op has been pretty poor for a number of years, not turning the lights on fully until 8.15am, used tea mugs left on shelves, the hoover left out in the foyer, mouldy fruit and veg left on the shelves. Can’t wait for the Waitrose to open and look forward to buying the Waitrose magazine each month and picking up the free weekly paper.

    • Andy

      November 17, 2013 at 4:44 pm

      I work for the co op and this is not true and how lucky you are to shop in waitrose

      • Sam

        November 20, 2013 at 3:23 pm

        I work for the coop too we work so hard for our customers and for each other it’s not our fault the coop does things they are out of our control we do our best

  44. Derm

    November 18, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    Waitrose coming to the centre will boost the local economy. It will draw on the many people who live in the surrounding areas like Hamble, Bursledon etc who had to travel to Southampton for the nearest Waitrose. They had no need to go to Locksheath as there was nothing there for them. However with Waitrose opening, it will attract many new customers.

  45. Carol

    November 19, 2013 at 8:04 pm

    This is great news.. I use Waitrose in Towcester regularly and think it is a great place to shop for quality items. A good addition to Locks Heath Centre. It is worth having a shop card too, especially as it enables you to have a free drink in their cafe.. a bonus when shopping.

  46. David

    November 21, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    I think that its a retrograde step having just one food shop, we need choice and with an expanding community with all these unnecessary houses being built, this sort of choice is needed. Small thinking councilors need to ask the public more and meet our needs, or we will just go to another area to spend our money and then the local area dosent benefit.Sort it out, Morrisions was a better bet and in these economic times would have bought great benefit. I for one will now not want to go there as much, and its my local area

  47. David James-Bailey

    November 22, 2013 at 8:59 am

    Waitrose? Wow, heard this from Wickes in Hedge End. News travels eh? This is probably the best news to come out of the changes and will put a whole different shopping experience to Locks Heath.

  48. susan

    November 25, 2013 at 9:02 pm

    I live in Portswood, Southampton and I love the Waitrose there, even though there is a Sainsburys and there used to be a Coop too. Whenever I went into the Coop to do random price comparisons, I would say that most of the items were more pricey in the Coop.
    I only did the comparisons because so many friends commented that they thought Waitrose was expensive…NOT TRUE.
    Also, they have just started a loyalty card so you can get a free (nice) coffee every day and a free newspaper if you spend £5. It’s FANTASTIC.
    At the end of the day there are crazy reductions and I get bread for 15pence and cheap meat too.
    Waitrose is the best ever supermarket, and it is just a myth that their things are expensive – you can get expensive luxury items if you want, but their essentials range is very competitive.
    My mum lives in Locks Heath and she is really pleased that Waitrose is moving in.