Now it's WeightWatchers on your high street: Slimming chain opens first UK store for on the go customers
19:21 GMT, 23 April 2012
Breaking away from the traditional meeting hall, the world's largest slimming chain has landed on the UK high street for the first time in its 48-year history.
WeightWatchers has launched a Lifestyle Centre in Reading, Berkshire offering low-calorie meal deals and diet support to those on the go.
If a success, the New York-based company which already has stand-alone stores in the U.S.,Australia
and China, plans to roll out the initiative across the UK.
Modernisation: Weight Watchers has launched a store on the UK high street for the first time in its 48-year history, appealing to time-strapped customers
The shop, which launched last Monday and is open seven days a week, will trial new ideas and currently offers WeightWatchers meal combinations
– including wraps, sandwiches, crisps, fruit and drinks – from 3.50.
It is also set to
stock around 150 products from across its 331m retail
brand, which tops the low calorie market, ahead of Special K, Activia Light,
Muller Light and Flora Diet.
Chris Stirk of
WeightWatchers said: 'With many of us
working longer hours and demanding a more personalised, flexible
service, we continue to adapt and enhance our products and services to
meet the needs of the community.'
However a key aim of the new Lifestyle Centre is to make
weight loss support more accessible to
busy people who may not have the time to attend regular meetings.
The WeightWatchers Lifestyle Centre currently offers meal combinations – including wraps, sandwiches, crisps, fruit and drinks – from 3.50
A one-to-one service is available at the pilot centre where customers can have a personalised weight-loss programme tailored to their
Stirk added: 'The centre will offer a more personalised and
flexible service for busy people like working mums and office workers
who can pop in when they have time.'
WeightWatchers, founded in 1963, reported that its online and iphone App have proved a big hit with members
and this latest move onto the high street is another way of targeting time-strapped customers.
medical studies have shown WeightWatchers to be the most cost effective
way of losing weight with those on the
programme losing twice as much as those who received dieting
advice from a GP.
This year the U.S. News & World Report rated it as the best weight-loss method as well as the new Easiest Diet to Follow category in its newest Best Diets 2012 review.
In 2008, the latest year with available figures, nearly a quarter of adults in England were obese.
If nothing changes, experts predict 60 per cent of men, 50 per cent of women and 25 per cent of children
will be obese by 2050, costing the Government 45.4