DRAMA AT WAITROSE
Waitrose will try anything to attract us to shop with them. First they tried introducing sushi bars and then wine bars and then supper clubs and some stores even tried offering yoga classes, in an attempt to attract customers tempted by on-line retailers, like Amazon. So their lasted idea - 'bespoke slicing'. Yes, I was gobsmacked, as other Waitrose regulars might be - a pop-up service offering a high-end deli section in store. But how does it differ from the usual deli slicing, I hear you ask? Well, the 'bespoke slicing' seems to have something to do with the years of specialist training needed to learn how to carve meat from an Iberico ham.
Waitrose's Richmond store in south-west London have replaced their traditional deli counter with food brand, Unearthed, for an initial period of 12 weeks. The brand specialises in exclusive types of olives, antipasti and cured and cooked meats from across Europe. A master carver, called Sergio, is responsible for slicing the Iberico ham. Sergio is a 'master carver'. Waitrose say that the move introduces an element of in-store theatre and aims to modernise stores and attract new business in response to the loss of customers to internet shopping. The high street retailer reports that sales from the new style deli have been strong so far with Iberian ham the best seller.
What do you think? How is slicing and carving bespoke, I ask? They are not making me a three piece suit from olives and prosciutto! What will be next? Bespoke baking or cheese making?