Travelodge gets into bed with Waitrose

What does every up-and-coming destination need? A supermarket and a budget hotel, of course. So runs the logic of Guy Parsons, chief exec of Travelodge.

by Rebecca Burn-Callander
Last Updated: 20 Jul 2015

It's a slightly unlikely coupling, Waitrose and Travelodge, budget hotels and a high end supermarkets. For surely, nothing drives down room-service bills like cheap access to peanuts and gin miniatures over the road? And where will shoppers bake their posh ready meals at a Travelodge? Perhaps they can steam them over the kettle. 

But Travelodge boss Guy Parsons is positive that this is a match made in heaven. 'Having a Travelodge and Waitrose on site offers an attractive proposition for consumers, developers and investors,' he says. And businesses may benefit, it's true. From swish sarnies at lunch to a bed for visiting clients or suppliers, there is definitely a case to be made. 

Travelodge certainly hopes so: it's spending £27m to follow Waitrose to three new sites next year. The first, in Sidcup, will open in August. Next stop, Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire. And lastly in Vauxhall, London.

The Aylesbury Enterprise and Innovation Centre might be a decent source of business for development number two. Vauxhall is more of a stretch. Aside from the Big Issue offices next to the station, the area is somewhat sparse (except after dark when a network of drum and bass raves spring up - Travelodge won't profit much from these night owls, they usually emerge just in time for first tube). Although excellent travel links do make Vauxhall instantly accessible from a variety of locations, including the West End, via the Victoria line. Sidcup has potential too. Rents are considerably cheaper than elsewhere in London and there's a thriving hub of small businesses in the area.

If this Waitrose/Travelodge mash-up works, Parsons has earmarked £130m to fund further supermarket-led expansion. There are 25 other sites under scrutiny and Parsons isn't fussy about which chains' coattails he rides: 'We are developing with, or in talks with, virtually every supermarket brand in Britain,' he says.

Whatever next? Asda and Hilton Hotels?

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