Waitrose SW11tches to Battersea

PRESS RELEASE - 26th November 2008


After 4 months of dialogue SW11tch Campaign achieves happy result for Battersea 

.......but Marks & Spencer and Waterstones remain ridiculously lost in Clapham

Back in July the SW11tch Campaign alerted the people of Battersea to the awful geographic error made by Waitrose and the John Lewis Partnership when they announced that they were to open a store in St. John's Road, Clapham. Proud local residents, intelligent and interested local businesses and Battersea enthusiasts were horrified to see such a prestigious organisation make such a mistake. Even Clapham residents in Lambeth were left bemused and upset.

The SW11tch Campaign went into action immediately and wrote to Mark Price, Managing Director of Waitrose and some of his colleagues asking them to correct the error. Since July we have been actively nudging Waitrose to get a result for Battersea.

We are therefore delighted to be able to announce that Waitrose has now relented and corrected its geography and in doing so has arrived happily in Batttersea, just in the nick of time for the store's opening on 4th December 2008.

The store will be known as Waitrose Clapham Junction and have Battersea in its address.

Battersea's new Waitrose Branch Manager, Andy Gissing offered the following comment: 

"Whenever we open a new Waitrose, we always aim to ensure the shop has a local identity and understand the importance in engaging with the local community in which we trade. We therefore welcomed the feedback we received from 'SW11tch Back to Battersea' to include Battersea into the address on all our marketing materials. 

We’re delighted to have the opportunity to let people discover our brand in this part of London for the first time and are looking forward to welcoming our new Partners and customers when we open on December 4th." 

Tony Belton, a local Battersea Councillor and Co-Chair of the SW11tch Back to Battersea Campaign commented:

"We're very pleased that our hard efforts in trying to persuade Waitrose of their error and welcome them to Battersea have paid off. Battersea people can now shop at the store knowing that Waitrose has demonstrated that there was meat on the bones of its commitment to the communities within which it runs its shops.

We'd like to thank the company very much indeed for what they have done. It is more significant than they initially realised."   

The campaign team hopes that Waitrose can update its website and other materials fully - as of today the Christmas Roadshows and Branch Events page was still listing 'Waitrose Clapham' - see link below:

>>> http://www.waitrose.com/inspiration/events/christmasroadshow.aspx 


Meanwhile elsewhere in St. John's Road, Waterstones still announces "Clapham Recommends" in relation to books and refuses to look at its own books on sale in shop which will correct their geography, and Marks & Spencer have completely refused to respond ONE WHOLE YEAR after the SW11tch Campaign first approached them. Low Marks to them we say. 



For further information contact the campaign team via: