Hotel Chocolat is extending its decade-plus strategic relationship with the John Lewis Partnership, in a move that will bring the long-term alliance to a higher level. Twelve years ago, Hotel Chocolat pioneered a solus branded space within the John Lewis department store’s gift zone. Now, this approach will be adopted in selected Waitrose stores across the UK.
This is the first time that Waitrose has given an exclusive bay on its shelves to any other company and underscores the strong, creative relationship between two of the UK’s most values-based brands. The space will comprise a cross-category display which includes Hotel Chocolat’s Velvetiser hot chocolate drink maker, boxed chocolates, and its vegan chocolate line.
Hotel Chocolat CEO and Co-founder, Angus Thirlwell commented: “We’re thrilled to be a part of this dynamic collaboration – a dedicated Hotel Chocolat branded space embedded within Waitrose, uniting two of the UK’s most loved brands. Our relationship with John Lewis & Partners has grown tremendously over the past ten years and we have built a terrific rapport. The time is right to bring HC into the luxurious food arena that is Waitrose and Waitrose.com.”
The sweet new Partnership marks a happy conclusion to a sticky situation in 2018, when Thirlwell met with Waitrose’s former MD – over a hot chocolate, of course – to discuss his concerns that some chocolates on Waitrose shelves appeared to bear a resemblance to Hotel Chocolat’s Slabs.
“The hot chocolate worked its magic. I came away with an understanding and respect for Waitrose. I’m so pleased that three years later, we’re now collaborating on this exciting new Partnership.” Thirlwell said.
Stephanie Chafor, Head of Grocery and Frozen Foods, at Waitrose added: “Hotel Chocolat has long brought innovation and authenticity to the chocolate scene and we are excited by this new partnership and the dedicated space in our shops. We think our customers will love the brand’s ethical and sustainability credentials as much as the quality of their chocolate.”