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29 November, 2012

Waitrose opens first store in North Norfolk

Local dignitaries welcome retailer’s arrival in North Walsham

Waitrose has opened its first shop in North Norfolk in North Walsham which has been welcomed by local dignitaries.

The Cromer Road store was officially unveiled by the Mayor of North Walsham, Dave Robertson, at 8am on Thursday 29th November.

The Mayor of North Walsham, Dave Robertson, said:
“I’m absolutely delighted that in less than a year we have seen plans approved and now this shop is opening, and I’m sure that the people of North Walsham feel the same. I really do believe Waitrose will have a positive impact on North Walsham. I’m excited by the potential of increasing footfall and therefore bringing economic confidence to our town.”

Commenting on the opening, North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb, said:
“It’s great news that Waitrose has come to North Walsham. It brings with it new jobs and the promise of more people coming into the town to shop which will give a boost to other local businesses. I have long advocated employee share ownership and the John Lewis Partnership – of which Waitrose is part – has been a pioneer in this field for many years, so for that reason too I am pleased they are coming to the town.”

Chair of North Walsham Chamber of Trade, Mair Stockdale, said:
“North Walsham Chamber of Trade welcomes Waitrose to the Town. We are all very excited that the store is opening shortly and look forward to a mutually beneficial relationship which will help, we believe, with the regeneration of North Walsham.”

Waitrose Branch Manager, Ashley Broad, added:
“We are very proud that in such a short time we have been able to revitalise a vacant building at the northern gateway to the town and deliver a quality food store, which has created new jobs and more choice for local people.

“We believe there is a huge opportunity to help encourage residents to stay in North Walsham for their primary shopping trip and to generate linked trips to the town centre. We recognise we have an important role in the town and are committed to ensuring it remains a vibrant, prosperous shopping destination.”

Waitrose North Walsham by numbers:

  • More than 45,000 contractor hours have been spent converting the store since work started on the 15th October.
  • Waitrose received more than 750 applications for the 170 new positions created at the branch.
  • More than £1m will be generated each year through wage and bonuses for employees at the store.
  • Waitrose North Walsham will donate £12,000 every year to local causes through its Community Matters scheme and 250 hours of its Partners time through its Partner Volunteering initiative.
  • The first three local causes to benefit in the shop’s first month of Community Matters are The Benjamin Foundation, Cromer and District Foodbank and Merchants Place.
  • For the first month only rather than donating £1,000 between the three causes, £3,000 will be shared.
  • Waitrose North Walsham becomes the retailer’s fourth store in Norfolk (the others are Swaffham, Norwich and Wynmondham) and the first to open for more than eight years.

Notes to Editors:

Notes to editors:

  • As part of the John Lewis Partnership, employees are co-owners in the business, entitling them to a say in how the business is run and a share in the profits which ensures a high level of commitment and customer service.
  • Every employee in the John Lewis Partnership received 14% of their annual wage in bonus in 2012.
  • The 170 jobs that have been created would include a variety of management, supervising, and supermarket assistant roles.
  • Waitrose offers a range of initiatives designed to ensure it is competitive on price, including the ‘essential Waitrose’ range, which offers hundreds of everyday shopping items at everyday affordable prices and ‘brand price matching’ on all branded products, excluding promotions.
  • The John Lewis Partnership is a member of Business in the Community (BITC) and wherever possible our branches are involved with their local trade and commerce groups.
  • Waitrose champions British produce, for example, 100% of Waitrose fresh chicken, beef, pork, milk, eggs and cream are British.
  • Waitrose was named ‘Favourite Food & Grocery Retailer’ at Verdict's annual Consumer Satisfaction Awards and ‘Favourite Supermarket’ at the Good Housekeeping Magazine Awards.

For more information contact:

James Armstrong
Communications Manager, Property & Development
t:01344 82 4657
f:01344 82 5211
e: james.armstrong@waitrose.co.uk
Rob Cadwell
Senior Press Officer, Corporate
t:01344 826182
m:07764 675959
e: rob.cadwell@waitrose.co.uk