News and Events

Welcoming Waitrose to the Channel Islands

Campaign Activation
by Brooke Kenyon
Published on

"Every pr should spend time working in the press office of a supermarket", Ed Watson ex-Asda PR, now at Debenhams (as quoted in Corpcomms magazine)

The brief: We began working with Waitrose last summer following their  successful purchase of five shops in the Channel Islands. Waitrose displayed a refreshing and honest approach to their knowledge of the Channel Islands; they had undertaken extensive research before purchasing their shops but knew that the Channel Islands could not be treated as another region of England. They understood that to have a successful communications campaign they needed to engage the people that lived and worked in the islands. That is where Orchard came in…

We were taken on to perform a local press office function for the supermarket and to be the company’s eyes and ears in the islands in the lead up to the new branch openings.

Orchard PR was also tasked with the management of two stakeholder events; both to take place the night before the first branch opened in each island. The events were to mark the company’s arrival in the islands, and to celebrate the culmination of all the hard work undertaken to get the branches open. We wanted to get the great and good of the islands to come to the events to meet the movers and shakers of Waitrose.

The experience: A few highlights of our Waitrose journey so far…

We have:

  • Met hundreds of local producers, everything from mushroom growers, to cider makers and we even got to taste some wonderful sticky toffee pudding

  • Become so familiar with the aisles of the supermarkets that we have begun dreaming about them

  • Delivered lavender sugar (yes we do know what it is) and carrot cake to some very enthusiastic journalists across the islands

  • Seen a supermarket as you will never see it again – every product, Partner and trolley exactly in their place

  • Welcomed loads of media (very early in the morning!) into the new branches and proudly given them a tour

  • Enjoyed a cup of coffee with Mr Waitrose himself aka Managing Director, Mark Price (btw he takes it black with no sugar)

  • Dealt with the inevitable issues that a big boy like Waitrose faces when he decides to move into a small place like Guernsey or Jersey, there will always be some…

  • Commissioned flower arrangements out of fruit and veg and designed cocktail names to reflect our beloved Channel Islands

  • Transformed La Mare Wine Estate, Jersey and The Farmhouse, Guernsey (both super venues, highly recommended) into chic cocktail parties fit for Heston or Delia

  • Greeted loads of Guernsey and Jersey folk and happily sent them on their way with goody bags full of Waitrose treats


To date we have generated over 200 pieces of coverage, including 11 front pages.

Brooke Kenyon
Brooke Kenyon

Managing Director - Strategy & Agency Growth

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