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Waitrose was first formed in 1904 by Wallace Waite, Arthur Rose and David Taylor as a small grocery shop in West London. The John Lewis Partnership acquired Waitrose in 1937 and the first supermarket was opened in 1955. John Lewis acquired Somerfield in 1999/2000. John Lewis also owns Peter & Jones, several manufacturing concerns and a farm.

The John Lewis Partnership prides its reputation on offering quality, value and customer service. In 2000 there are over 150 branches of Waitrose and 23 John Lewis Department Stores.

The John Lewis Partnership as a whole employs over 35,800 Partners and has a turnover in excess of 2,800 million. Waitrose employs 18,500 people. John Lewis profits fell by 43% in 2000 to 38.5m (compared to 67.7m in 1999) due to rising costs (20m compared to 3m in 1999) and falling prices according to their half yearly results to 29 July 2000. Sales were up 10% to 1.9bn. In Waitrose supermarkets, sales rose by 98m, or 11 per cent.


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