Considering the number of group discussions I’ve moderated over the past couple of decades it’s interesting that one comment made in one group comes to mind more often than most.
I was conducting some work on behalf of Waitrose and during the group one man, having realised that he was in amongst fellow Waitrose shoppers came out with the following line, ‘of course you know why we all go to Waitrose it’s because it’s full of PLUs’.
‘PLUs?’ I asked.
‘Yes, people like us’ he replied and looked around the room for approval. And approval was indeed forthcoming.
I was reminded again of this incident at the weekend when I asked my wife whether we should go and buy something for Sunday lunch. ‘Oh it’s ok,’ she said, ‘I went shopping this morning when you were out. Well it wasn’t really shopping, I went to Waitrose’.
This has set me thinking about shopping in a more general sense because I knew exactly what she meant. Shopping at Waitrose is a somewhat different experience to shopping at some other supermarkets.
Somehow it feels more relaxed, you feel better looked after, you feel like the products have been looked after too, and nothing will be too much trouble if you have a question for any member of staff.
So I’m wondering whether to put forward a new verb for the next Oxford English Dictionary; it’s the verb ‘to waitrose’. The definition would be something along the lines of having a pleasant shopping experience during which one feels at home and during which one has confidence that all will be well.
Because all tends to be well at Waitrose, and of course you shop in the knowledge that you tend to be surrounded by PLUs…