Curious customers flocked through the doors of the new Waitrose Food & Home store on 17th September 2002. Located in the heart of Docklands with 47,000 customers within easy walking distance, Canary Wharf had been in the planning stage for over two years. However, the branch Manager, Roger Barrow, was already looking ahead to the estimated 100,00 potential customers by 2005. Waitrose Director of Selling and Marketing, Mark Price, was on hand to see how the novel offer of shopping and eating in the new branch was received; exceptionally well it seems.
The only interruption to a hugely successful first day’s trade was an unplanned evacuation when the fire alarm was set off accidentally by builders working on the floor above the store. The evacuation was a textbook example of calm efficiency, clearing the 75,000 square foot store in three minutes and getting it back up and running again just 10 minutes later. Fortunately this happened after the lunchtime period which had seen thousands of curious office workers flood into the new branch to see just how wide a range of products they would now be able to buy in their lunch hour. Far from normal lunchtime impulse buys were the Nebuchadnezzar of Champagne for £900 and the £1,000 flat screen television contributing to an estimate-beating first day of trade. Clear evidence to support Mark Price’s view that Canary Wharf would take shopping to a new level.
Canada Place, Canada Square