Waitrose Whetstone opened on 11/02/1969
On Tuesday 11th February 1969 Whetstone opened its doors amid a snowstorm. In spite of the arctic weather, about fifty people had queued to be its first customers. One customer, who had been travelling to Barnet to shop at Waitrose, said “It’s about time we had one here!” The store included a big delicatessen section which another customer said they had been hoping to see in Whetstone for twenty years.
During the day, customers were able to sample products such as wine, ground coffee and smoked salmon. Once customers had loaded their baskets and trolleys, they were able to choose whether to go through the checkouts at the front or the back of the shop. The car park at the back was a major feature of the new Waitrose, as it would make customer shopping easier due to the High Road getting very crowded and customers finding it difficult to park there.
The delivery area at the back of the shop featured a conveyor belt and a spiral meat hoist, both modern labour and space saving devices at the time. The first floor was the location for the dining and rest room, a bright and airy area with a magnificent view of London’s skyline.
1305 High Road