Supermarket chain Waitrose is trialling a new fascia for its convenience stores called Little Waitrose. The company is trialling the new format at its 3,000 sq ft store in London’s Old Brompton Road, which opened last week. The trial is designed to assess whether a dedicated sub-brand would help customers differentiate between Waitrose’s new convenience format and the main chain. The success of the trial will be assessed before the new name is rolled out to any other stores. Apart from the name, the format of the new store is the same as Waitrose’s first two convenience stores in Cambridge and Manchester. The company, which entered into unsuccessful takeover talks for the Eat chain last year, said it planned to open 28 convenience stores in 2011, adding to the 13 it already operates, with some of them expected to be under the Little Waitrose banner. Diana Hunter, Waitrose’s director of store development, said: “We are really excited by the reaction we have already had to our 'Little Waitrose' shop and if our customers continue to respond as they have done in the last 24 hours, we will certainly be introducing the brand to more of our smaller convenience shops.” The trial of the Little Waitrose sub brand comes just weeks after supermarket rival Sainsbury’s launched its standalone food-to-go concept, Fresh Kitchen in the capital.

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