Waitrose is planning to open more cafes and trial new hospitality concepts over the next 12 months.

On the back of the group’s full-year trading update this week, managing director Mark Price said the company would open cafes in more than 100 stores this year to take its total number of in-store cafes to more than 200.

He also said that the company would trial new concepts, after opening a steak and oyster bar at its Canary Wharf store and a wine tasting bar in its Kingston branch.

According to M&C Report’s sister title The Grocer, he also dismissed claims by the Labour party that its free coffee and newspapers offer was impacting independent shops.

He described it as a “storm in a coffee cup” and that the group had only received 20 complaints about the scheme.

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