UK retailer Waitrose puts a halt on Shell venture

LONDON Wed Dec 12, 2012 12:33pm EST

LONDON Dec 12 (Reuters) - Waitrose, the British supermarkets chain owned by John Lewis, said on Wednesday it would not go ahead with plans to expand a joint venture with Royal Dutch Shell at the oil company's petrol stations.

The firm, which currently runs 15 small kiosks selling snacks and sandwiches on forecourts, will maintain those operations but will not extend the joint format into 2013, Waitrose managing director Mark Price said.

The tie-up had riled environmental lobby group Greenpeace, which started a protest campaign at the beginning of the month to force Waitrose to cut ties with Shell in opposition to its plans to drill for oil in the Arctic.

Greenpeace said it had collected 40,000 emails supporting its Waitrose campaign after several store visits, creating a spoof video based on the supermarket's Christmas advert and bringing a life-sized polar bear to a London store.

Shell ended its Arctic drilling work for this winter in late October, but said it would revisit the sites as soon as possible in 2013.

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