Waitrose to open record amount of selling space this month
Waitrose is to create nearly 700 jobs and add a record 86,000 sq ft of selling space to its retail estate this month as it continues its expansion programme.
This will take the total number of Waitrose shops opened in 2012 to 20 and the number of people recruited through shop openings to more than 2,000 during the year.
Waitrose Cowbridge opened in the Vale of Glamorgan on 1 November, creating 120 jobs. Waitrose Ipswich, the first Waitrose branch to open alongside a John Lewis at Home store, launched yesterday with 250 staff. Later in the month, the grocer will open a little Waitrose convenience shop in Knightsbridge and a Waitrose store in North Walsham in Norfolk. Between them, the two stores will employ a total of 200 staff.
An additional 120 jobs will be created this month at Waitrose Bath following the completion of an extension which has doubled the branch size to 38,000 sq ft.
Waitrose is also about to begin the recruitment of over 90 management roles for its 30 acre Regional Distribution Centre in Leyland, Lancashire. The site, Waitrose’s fifth RDC, will create over 300 roles when it opens in the summer and drive Waitrose’s expansion in the North of England and Scotland.
The site, which includes a 360,000 sq ft warehouse, 50,000sq ft of office space and a vehicle maintenance unit, will allow Waitrose to service up to 80 branches in those regions.
Waitrose property and development director, Nigel Keen, said: “In a challenging economic environment where unemployment remains high, we are pleased to have been able to create a record number of jobs around the country this month.
“With another 20 Waitrose shops set to open in 2013, including ten new little Waitrose stores in central London and two shops in Scotland, we are actively building on a period of rapid expansion for Waitrose.
“Because of our unique, co-owned business ethos we are thrilled to be able to attract the highest calibre of applicants and we look forward to welcoming many more to Waitrose in the months to come.”
Earlier this week, Kantar Worldpanel released figures showing that during the 12 weeks to 28 October the grocer held on to its record market share of 4.7% achieved in the last period.
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