Waitrose Unpacked trial launches in Cheltenham as retailer unveils new look store

A dedicated refillable zone, frozen pick and mix, freshly made sushi and dry-aged beef are just some of the new features at Waitrose & Partners’ Cheltenham branch, which unveiled a new look last Friday (September 6).

The supermarket chain said Cheltenham is the second store in the UK to introduce ‘Waitrose Unpacked’: a scheme where customers can choose from a selection of packaging-free products, with the aim of saving thousands of tonnes of plastic.

‘Waitrose Unpacked’ at Cheltenham includes: ‘essential refillables’ – 28 products including pasta, rice, grains, couscous, lentils, cereals, dried fruit and seeds that have been taken out of packaging and are available through dispensers; frozen pick and mix – frozen mango, strawberries, blueberries, cherries, pineapple and raspberries which are packaging-free, detergent and washing up liquid refillables -Waitrose is the first supermarket to partner with Ecover to provide refills of detergent and washing up liquid; wine and beer refillables- four wines and four beers are available on tap to take home in reusable bottles; and coffee refills – customers can grind one of four coffees in store to take home in a reusable container, to reduce glass and plastic packaging.

The shop also includes a new sushi counter offering sushi freshly made in store in partnership with Sushi Daily; a new dry-aged beef cabinet; a Cookery School which will host demos by Waitrose experts; a larger, newly designed cafe with a wider menu; self-serve checkouts; updated meat, fish, cheese and deli counters with 10% off when customers bring their own containers, for a limited time; a new self-serve bakery; and an updated beer, wine and spirits department with a larger assortment.

Cheltenham branch manager Mike Snowdon said: “We are the second largest Waitrose shop, so this represents a significant investment and we’re excited to show our customers the transformation that has taken place. 

“We’re thrilled to be only the second of our shops to have ‘Waitrose Unpacked’ and we will be looking for as much feedback as possible from our customers. We are still testing the different concepts, so Cheltenham shoppers will have a huge say on how we can develop ideas which have the potential to be rolled out more widely.”

The retailer originally launched its ‘Unpacked’ test in its Oxford Botley Road shop in June.Following a positive response with more than 90% of those surveyed saying they would continue to shop ‘Unpacked’, it announced that it would be extending the test there and in three more shops by the end of this year.


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