Many of Britain’s Middle-Classes have been placed on suicide watch following news that Waitrose has announced a programme of store closures.

Conchita Marquez-Pommeroy, a devotee of the Waitrose brand who lives in Kensington said: ‘This is very concerning development and although thankfully our local store is safe for now – a jolly big Phew! –  you never know. Roger my husband told me he doesn’t want to have to source his Duchy Original products online and is perfectly happy for me to pay way too much over the odds for the convenience of popping them in a trolley in-store.’

Already there have been reports of panic buying and hoarding from customers whose local branches are closing, with stocks of Duck Eggs, Shiitake Mushrooms Imberico Ham and Nduja sausage running perilously low.

One tearful shopper, speaking from behind the wheel of her BMW M5 as she waited for the doomed Marlow branch to open sobbed: ‘What a betrayal, what a kick in the teeth this is. And talk about rubbing our noses in the dirt! As if it’s not bad enough that they’re closing our store… I have found out that it’s being sold to… L-L-L-L Lidl. ‘