Supermarket chain Waitrose have introduced bouncers onto the doors of their Leighton Buzzard store in an attempt to ensure that only ‘the right sort of person’ shops there.
The trial, which if successful will be extended to all Waitrose stores, is aiming to provide traditional Waitrose customers with a more pleasant shopping experience, and is based around a ‘think 25’ policy. If the bouncers suspect that a customer earns less than £40k a year they will refuse them entry unless they can prove that they earn more than £25k.
“Some people have claimed that it is narrow-minded of us to base entry requirements to our stores solely on how much a person earns, and to an extent I agree.” said Rupert Thomas, Marketing Director,
“After all, some plumbers and builders and so forth earn quite a lot of money, but we still would not want them shopping with us. They might start touching the fruit and veg with oily hands or something. So our bouncers have our full backing to still refuse entry if they think that somebody’s salary comes from manual labour.”
Waitrose, like other UK supermarkets, are coming under pressure from increased competition with the likes of Aldi and Lidl taking market share. They believe that moving to reaffirm their position as the supermarket of choice for the middle classes will bring customers back, enticed by the promise of an oik-free weekly shop.
“The Leighton Buzzard trial has only been running for two weeks but we have already seen great results with in-store riffraff down by over half and a better class of shopper taking their place.” continued Thomas, “By the end of this month we estimate that we will have up to thirty percent of the car park filled with Range Rovers at any one time.”
Ironically the bouncers themselves are paid less than £25k per year and are therefore not allowed into the store, instead having to use a public toilet over the road for rest breaks.