Waitrose has shortlisted five agencies to handle corporate PR, with pitches taking place over the next six weeks. The John Lewis-owned chain does not currently use a corporate agency. It employs The SPA Way for consumer and Luther Pendragon for public affairs.
Meanwhile, Morrisons has drafted in Bell Pottinger agency Good Relations on a retained public affairs brief.
Good Relations snatched the account from incumbent Open Road after a three-way pitch. Portland PR also pitched for the work. Lexis is Morrisons’ retained consumer agency.
Good Relations CEO Teresa-Anne Dunleavy said: ‘Morrisons is outperforming its sector and has a great story to tell.’
Last month Morrisons announced like-for-like sales up 8.2 per cent in the six weeks to 4 January, and that it was to create 5,000 new positions by the end of 2009.
Waitrose’s total sales to 3 January were up 7.5 per cent, and the annual 'How Britain Shops' survey has shown that Waitrose increased customer share of total visitors by 7 per cent in 2008.
Waitrose suffered a corporate setback this week when an LGA study found it had the heaviest packaging, despite priding itself on its green credentials.
Waitrose managing director Mark Price has also attacked the aggressive price-cutting of the chain’s rivals. He blamed the Government for encouraging a trend for cheap food.