Weight Watchers makes high-street debut with branded store

Weight Watchers has opened what it is calling a 'Lifestyle Centre' in Reading, offering personalised weight-loss sessions and selling only its own food and drink.

Weight Watchers' new Reading store
Weight Watchers' new Reading store

Weight Watchers is targeting members and busy commuters who can visit the centre to receive one-on-one weight-loss consultations and attend group support sessions, as well as purchase branded goods.

Further centres, which would emulate a strategy already in place in the US, will be rolled out across the UK if the Reading pilot proves a success.

The first shop opens after the brand redesigned the packaging for its 250 Weight Watchers food products this month to make them more identifiable.

It is the latest in a series of projects undertaken by the brand over the past 18 months, including the new ProPoints plan and an iPhone app, which the company said has had more than 800,000 downloads.

The company has shifted its £10m ad business to Saatchi and Saatchi in the past year, the agency's biggest new-business win, and in January, rolled out its first campaign fronted by celebrity Alesha Dixon.

Chris Stirk, Weight Watchers' director of products and licensing, said: "With many of us working longer hours and demanding a more personalised flexible service, we continue to adapt and enhance our products and services to meet the needs of the community."

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