Waitrose makes a move to Dobbies’ Woodcote garden centre

The latest straw in the wind to signal the changes in high street retailing blew through this morning, with the announcement that Waitrose groceries are to be available on the shelves of one of the larger local garden centres.

Market movers: Waitrose has today begun selling its goods in Dobbies in Woodcote Green

Part of the John Lewis Partnership, Waitrose announced two months ago that it is to close its Croydon town centre branch on George Street on November 11, affecting 70 shop workers’ jobs.

Today Dobbies, the garden centre operators, opened a Waitrose foodhall at its Woodcote Green store on Woodmansterne Lane.

Dobbies will certainly provide more car parking space than was ever available for shoppers on George Street.

The Waitrose at Dobbies gig brings a “wide range of high-quality food, drink, grocery products, and everyday essentials to Dobbies’ customers”, the company said in its press release announcement.

“Customers will find a large range of chilled, frozen and store cupboard essentials from Waitrose, as well as free-from and vegan ranges and an extensive range of wines and spirits.”

Woodcote Green is one of more than 50 Dobbies’ foodhalls where Waitrose products will be on sale, the company said.

Dobbies’ in-store butchers, Walter Smith, as well as Hotel Chocolat, Whittards, the Cook range and their in-store bakery will continue to operate in the foodhall alongside the Waitrose shelves.

  • Between today and next Wednesday, October 19, Dobbies is offering five lucky customers the chance to have their foodhall shopping all paid for. The five will be selected at random, to receive the contents of their foodhall shopping basket. Winners will be selected by the team members at the till point.

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8 Responses to Waitrose makes a move to Dobbies’ Woodcote garden centre

  1. Ian Kierans says:

    Great PR that – shop at Dobbies – partnering too Good to go in a bid to end food waste. But if that does not float your boat pick up some Waitrose No 1 instead.

    Or why not do both!

    Now I am not mocking here – I think its a good idea and Dobbies here I come. But I would prefer that 70 jobs were not lost and Waitrose remained at some location.

  2. Eugene Regan says:

    It used to be superb garden centre with a large range of plants and shrubs, but since Dobbies took over, the plant section has halved, more like a shopping centre than a garden centre. We now buy our plants from the other plant growers in the same road, better value, easy parking and locally owned, try them

    • James Seabrook says:

      Totally agree. Woodcote Garden centre was absolutely brilliant before the greedy capitalists started ransacking it for profit and more profit. A real shame that it was sold on like this. I hope another garden centre with true passion becomes the new jewel in the crown.

  3. Lewis White says:

    Whilst a Waitrose customer, I am going to write to Sutton Council and ask three questions-
    1- Any additional car parking at this location is going to hard surface over more green belt, so should not be allowed. Has the council ever received and approved planning applications in the past for the huge areas of hard surfaced parking at this and other local nurseries, all of which are “Green belt”.
    2- I am going to ask them how much business rates are charged for so called “garden centre” shops of this kind, versus the same area in Sutton High Street or Wallington
    3- Do they have a policy of encouraging prosperity of their town centres?. How does this edge of town development encourage this ?

    This is not a good thing for our local shopping areas like Carshalton, Wallington, Sutton, Cheam, Purley, Coulsdon etc etc.

    It is just an opportunist thing for Dobbies, as it was for Wyevale, and Woodcote Garden Centre as was

  4. George says:

    Of course it’s worth mentioning that this Waitrose announcement by Dobbies has nothing to do with the closure of the George Street shop. They had Sainsbury’s wholesale supply them products for the last couple of years and they just changed to Waitrose on similar terms, nationwide. Just a bit of quick PR to pick up customers, but I’d think a lot of people that used the actual shop were on foot pre and post commute…and if you’re going to drive surely you can go to an actual supermarket instead of pay the Dobbies mark up.

    Woodcote was brilliant when it was family owned, now it’s just soulless and depends on fresh plant deliveries to look presentable instead of having staff that care about the plants. And the prices are also ludicrous…I’ll agree with Eugene, further up the road there are some good nurseries that care about plants and are keenly priced.

    • Jo W says:

      Yes, this isn’t going to make much of a difference to people who used the George Street Waitrose for their local shop

  5. Susan evans says:

    I agree with those who say better buys are to be made on the same road and more advice available.

  6. Susan Williams says:

    It will be like waitrose on the motorway – all franchises – inflated prices and no discounts or reductions. One big dobbie jobbie

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