Waitrose: shock profit warning after upping investment in marketing

Waitrose has issued a profit warning and said a period of "unprecedented investment" in a variety of marketing initiatives, such as price-matching promotions, will hit first-half profits.

Waitrose: shock profit warning after upping investment in marketing

Managing director Mark Price issued the profit warning in the supermarket's weekly trading update today (1 August).  The retailer's interim results are due on 11 September.

In a statement, Price said that the investment being made in online development, new shops and services would impact half-year profits.

Price said: "We are investing to enable us to compete effectively in this very tough market and to build a strong business for the future."

Waitrose has been trialling new formats including "grazing" areas and juice bars where customers can buy a deli platter and wine; mobile-enabled payments; and free hot and cold drinks for its myWaitrose loyalty members.

The retailer also said it has plans to launch a dedicated wine site called WaitroseCellar.com, that will allow shoppers to search for wines, read customer reviews and get recommendations from in-store experts.

It also invested heavily in its content marketing strategy in March, with an increased page-count for weekly newspaper Waitrose Weekend, an array of new columnists and investment in more content on its Waitrose TV channel.