The Daily Telegraph

Why Waitrose will always be top of the shops

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SIR – I disagree with Jonathan Margolis (“How Waitrose lost the middle classes”, Features, October 14).

The Essentials range is excellent value. The quality of the ready meals and produce is good. The staff are helpful, and there is no argument when there are problems with items. Marks & Spencer’s food is good but pricey, and some lines are not as good as those of Waitrose or Sainsbury’s.

While other retailers are either difficult or impossible to contact by telephone or email, one can always get a quick response from the Waitrose customer services team. And online shopping with John Lewis is easy when one can collect in-store from one’s local Waitrose.

Of course, the cost of living means that it is no longer feasible to buy certain items from Waitrose. But there must be many customers like me for whom it is not practicabl­e to shop at Aldi or Lidl. I can walk to, or park easily at, my local Waitrose. So I shall continue to shop there.

Mary Barlow

Eastbourne, East Sussex

SIR – I have shopped at Waitrose for over 40 years, but Martin George, its customer director (Letters, October 15), should have walked round our Waitrose in Sherborne last Friday and seen the empty shelves in the meat section and the sparse selection on the butcher’s counter.

Waitrose may pride itself on quality, but where are the products? I am now forced to buy what’s on offer at Waitrose, then shop elsewhere. Pamela Oates

Sherborne, Dorset

SIR – I am disabled and often shop at Waitrose. Its aisles are a third wider than those of other supermarke­ts, making the experience more relaxing and pleasant. There is also less jostling, even when the store is busy. The self-scanner system is reliable, and staff are always friendly and helpful.

And as for shopping there being more expensive, I find the comparison websites never consider the store reductions offered. These tend to be more generous than elsewhere, so if you shop mindfully you can reduce your bill.

Heather Erridge Weston-super-mare, Somerset

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