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.