Map of Waitrose Branches
The Waitrose Effect
Why plot all of the Waitrose stores on a map? Several years ago, I was wondering which parts of the UK might be nice places in which to live. It occurred to me that Britain's food retailers conduct extensive research into the best neighbourhoods in which to locate their stores, and I might be able to narrow my search by following in their footsteps.
At the time Waitrose was generally considered to be the most "upmarket" of the food retailers, and therefore it stood to reason that its stores would probably be located in the most affluent parts of the UK. Making the assumption that affluent areas are nice places in which to live, I decided to map all of the Waitrose stores in the country.
Since then, the Waitrose Effect on property prices has received considerable attention in the press. According to Savills, properties located within the same postcode as a Waitrose outlet are on average 25% more expensive than the average property in their county.
So there's a positive correlation between Waitrose and the value of neighbouring properties, but is it really nicer to live near these stores? Who knows? Waitrose set up shop in my neighbourhood before I'd decided where to go, so now it seems there's no need to move.
- BBC News Magazine — The Waitrose snobbery/property price index
- Financial Times — £229,286: the price of a Tube stop for property in London