UK high-end supermarket chain Waitrose has reported its first statutory loss in a decade. Last year’s loss of £2.3m is attributed to the supply chain crisis and Covid-19-related costs. The chain’s revenues were down 0.9% to £6.8bn for the period ended 29 January 2022.
According to the grocer, its profit margins have been “significantly diluted” by the “inflationary pressures within supply chains, higher levels of absence due to Covid-19 and higher fulfilment costs as a result of the increased levels of online trade”.
However, the supermarket also reported a decline in revenues as consumer demand dropped in the second half of 2021 compared to the previous year, as much of the UK returned to more normal shopping patterns and the hospitality sector rebounded.
Nevertheless, despite rising inflation and energy prices, Waitrose says that it remains “focused on investing significantly in our Partnership Plan to transform and grow our business.” Waitrose’s partnership with Deliveroo resulted in £1m being generated in weekly sales.
The retailer’s profit was also impacted by its £90m investment in 18 shop refurbishments, alongside expanding its e-commerce capacity, and the opening of 10 new Waitrose cafes. The company added that it plans to continue to invest in its store estate, with another 23 major refurbishments planned for 2022/23.