The supermarket company, which operates nearly 300 stores in the UK and also owns department store John Lewis, stated in 2011 it planned to enter the Australian market through franchising partnerships. The successful trade mark application could mean that goes ahead sooner rather than later.
The trade mark application – TM number 1511394 – was lodged in July 2012, accepted in January this year and entered the trade mark register on 2 May.
It covers a variety of goods and services Classes, including Class 35 ‘supermarket and internet retail services’, Class 31 ‘agricultural, horticultural and forestry products’ and Class 5 ‘Pharmaceutical and veterinary preparations’.
If Waitrose enters the Australian market, it could spark a rivalry with other high-end Australian supermarkets, including Woolworths-owned Thomas Dux.
UPDATE: A Waitrose spokesperson contacted ™Watch, and said “we see the Australian market as a growth opportunity for the Waitrose brand”, but added “we have no plans to announce [an Australian launch] at this time”.
“Last Christmas we sold a number of products from our Heston from Waitrose range in Australia in the supermarket Coles, including our sell-out Heston from Waitrose Hidden Orange Christmas Pudding,” the spokesperson said. “Products from our Duchy Originals From Waitrose range have also been available in specialist food shops in Australia for a number of years and have also proved popular with shoppers.”
Click to view a screenshot of the Waitrose trade mark application.