It started around this time last year, in January 2014, with a few cute baking products. I spotted some gorgeous little pots with various cake toppings like honeycomb bits, silver and gold balls and pink sugar crystals and had to make them mine. It wasn’t till I looked much closer that I realised they were Waitrose products- a popular chain of supermarkets in the UK. It’s actually considered quite a fancy, upmarket supermarket but it’s prices compare with the giants of the UK such as Tesco. I was super excited to see little bits and bobs from this recognised UK brand in the Arkadia supermarket in St Julians, Malta and even more happy when I noticed that the prices were in line with those back home (not hugely inflated like other brands *ahem* Iceland!) and there was a whole aisle of Waitrose biscuits, teas, cereal and canned goods as well.
We regularly opt for Waitrose Triple Chocolate Cereal, Waitrose spaghetti hoops (I’m a grown up, I promise!), Waitrose fruit squash, biscuits and instant coffee. Almost every time we popped into Arkadia, after the initial introduction of Waitrose, it seemed like the selection expanded. Huge areas of the Arkadia supermarket were emptied and replaced with Waitrose items, with almost the entire freezer section being taken over with Waitrose chips, cakes, icecreams, frozen fruit, vegetables and more. There is even an entire beauty related aisle with shampoos, shower gels, skincare and loads more to choose from.
I popped in to Arkadia today and realised that the entire kitchen utensil section of this Malta based supermarket has also been replaced with beautiful Waitrose items- from coloured tupperware to wooden spoons, tin openers to adorable mugs, jugs, plates and baking equipment. The whole section has been ripped out and rebuilt with lovely wooden shelves and regimented and organised items. I hated the mess it was in before with just piles of old and dusty spoons, mismatched pots and pans thrown together with no prices or method to the madness. Now the whole area is clean, organised and with every item priced up. Everything is so pretty and the prices surprised me here too- kitchenware can be so expensive in Malta but the Waitrose tupperware pots in Arkadia begin at just €1.50.
It honestly looks to me as if Arkadia could soon be an entirely Waitrose stocked supermarket and why not- lots of the other stuff in there is super over priced and not necessarily great quality. Hopefully further expansion of Waitrose would mean other products price lines are reassessed to something more reasonable and an overall more well organised store. Here’s hoping!