he cut-price supermarket chain Aldi has claimed 5.3% of the UK market, making it the sixth largest in the country, and knocking Waitrose into seventh place. Could the survival of this genteel British institution be at risk? What can ordinary Waitrose customers do to preserve this upmarket food-shopping experience for the nation? Some suggestions:
Send a Waitrose Duchy Originals Hamper to Greece
For just £75 plus shipping you can ensure that someone from Europe’s most economically-challenged nation is all right for organic onion marmalade for the next year or so. But you don’t want to send it to Greece, that’s fine; this isn’t really about Greece.
Wear a ‘You Won’t Find Asafoetida at Aldi’ wristband
Actually, you can sometimes find asafoetida at Aldi (and cheap!) but most people don’t like asking for it because they’re not sure how it’s pronounced. As part of this scheme, Waitrose will launch a new aisle for exotic, hard-to-say foodstuffs, where asafoetida sits alongside the quinoa, sriracha, tzatziki and huitlacoche. Care must be taken: it’s possible the wristband could spark a rival Aldi one that says: “You Won’t Find a 79 Quid Gas Barbecue at Waitrose”.
Offer to drive an elderly neighbour to Waitrose
Many potential Waitrose customers simply live too far from their nearest outlet to experience the glamour of shopping in an environment where bottled, scented ironing water is considered an “essential”. Don’t tell them where you’re going beforehand; just mention they’re doing a big discount on Harpic this week.
Start paying for your free coffee
Waitrose loyalty card-holders are entitled to a free hot beverage from the cafe, but if you can afford it you should really make some sort of contribution. It’s time some of that loyalty started flowing the other way.
Start a ‘Guess Who I Just Saw in Waitrose?’ viral campaign
Part of the fun of shopping at Waitrose is the slightly elevated chance that you might spot Chris Packham buying tarragon, or see Jason Manford stocking up on gelato. This never happens at Aldi, because celebrities only ever send their PAs toAldi.
Remember: if your pet isn’t a Waitrose customer, then you aren’t
True Waitrose shoppers don’t sneak off to Lidl to bulk-buy off-brand dog food: they spend eye-watering amounts of money on pet nutrition plans that non-Waitrose customers have never heard of, because they believe their pets deserve the best. Actually you could probably feed your dog on caviar from Aldi for less, but that’s not the point. That is not the point at all.