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Waitrose facing backlash over free coffee attracting 'wrong clientele'

By The Citizen  |  Posted: December 30, 2013


Comments (10)

Upmarket superstore chain Waitrose has faced a backlash from some customers amid complaints that the 'wrong sort of clientele' is taking advantage of its free coffee offer.

Shoppers say the supermarket's offer of free hot drinks in all its stores is turning some outlets into 'soup kitchens'.

Complimentary tea and coffee is available to loyalty card holders, even without making a purchase.

Some long-standing customers of Waitrose, which has a branch in Stroud, said the move encourages large numbers of myWaitrose cardholders who have no intention of shopping and merely get in the way.

Do you shop at Waitrose? Have you seen a similar pattern?

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  • MentalBeaver  |  December 31 2013, 7:25PM

    As amusing as badger's comment is, I have actually encountered people from Stroud who have that sort of attitude. One was going on about young people causing trouble and being hooligans yet their own son was one of the worst culprits in the area.

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  • badger12  |  December 31 2013, 3:02PM

    As a loyal Waitrose customer, I am disgusted that I now have to share my free coffee in the company of poor people. May I suggest that a separate cafe is built for proper Waitrose customers. Perhaps it could have one-way glass so the poor do not get to look at us but we could look at them just in case they are stealing or something.

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  • MentalBeaver  |  December 31 2013, 12:02PM

    Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

  • supernova1  |  December 31 2013, 9:47AM

    Regardless of the 'class issue' if that's the right terminology, I don't think the concept of customers getting 'instant' rewards is necessarily correct. Waitrose are distancing themselves from other reward schemes in this manner. It makes no economic sense to give away the company profits to ANYONE not making a single purchase. So I can see why those customers that have shopped at Waitrose for years are taking exception. Apparently you are allowed to walk around the store drinking from a cardboard cup. At any level, that is plainly wrong.

  • NibNobs  |  December 30 2013, 9:33PM

    Maybe it's the regular Waitrose customers that have fallen on hard times and now go to Aldi for their amazing £9.99 champagne (voted better tasting than Waitrose cheap £17.99 version!) but of course they still visit the store for their free cup of milk froth.

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  • verysceptical  |  December 30 2013, 9:15PM

    Sadly the Cheltenham branch, built in one of the grotty bits of town (natch), is patronised by either rude elderly folk who buy a pot of tea and nurse it for hours or braying mummies and their vile offspring. Much better sticking to Ocado or getting the staff to do the shopping I find.

  • dcfc79  |  December 30 2013, 2:46PM

    So what if theres people out there who just go to the store for the free tea/coffee, its nothing to do with them.

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  • RWT1203  |  December 30 2013, 12:47PM

    Will the coffee be served according to class?

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  • 1970paired  |  December 30 2013, 11:50AM

    How very uppity of those Waitrose shoppers, bet there not Stroud Born & Bred, we have better manners than that

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  • Apothegm_  |  December 30 2013, 10:46AM

    I'm not sure that the allure of a free cup of coffee per day would tempt "the lower classes", down-and-outs, and other Stroud riff-raff (and "chavs", accoring to the Daily Mail, not surprisingly) into Waitrose to face the wrath of those posh Stroudies who consider Waitrose to be their justifiable and exclusive habitat! Fortunately for them, I see no discounts on soup, nor on kitchens, so those tremulous Stroud folk can sleep easy in their Tempura-memory-foam-mattressed beds...

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