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03 February, 2012

Waitrose to create 350 jobs with new London convenience branches

Announcement marks the first anniversary of 'little Waitrose'

Waitrose today marked the first anniversary of “little Waitrose” by announcing it is to create 350 jobs through opening six new convenience branches in central London this year.

The retailer has confirmed it will open new convenience shops in Fulham Palace Road, Muswell Hill, Parsons Green and Vauxhall and is aiming to open at least a further two shops by the end of 2012.

The announcement follows the successful roll out of little Waitrose, which was first trialled at its Old Brompton store in South Kensington this time last year.

Twenty-three of the supermarket’s twenty-eight convenience shops across the UK are now branded “little Waitrose” and it plans to re-brand the other five in the future. It currently has five little Waitrose shops in central London.

Waitrose Director of Store Development, Diana Hunter, said:

“Our customers really like their little Waitrose and the way it fits with their busy lives. We have quickly established ourselves within the convenience sector and annual sales are strong. Today’s announcement underlines the role little Waitrose will play in driving our growth and our ambition to make us accessible and convenient for everyone in London.”

The 350 new jobs will be advertised on the supermarket’s website www.jlp.jobs.com. The retailer also plans to work with the local branches of Jobcentre Plus to ensure places in groups interviews are allocated to the priority customers they put forward.

Recruitment for the new stores is already generating interest with more than 1,000 people applying to work in one of the 85 roles available at its new store in Fulham Palace Road, which opens in the spring.

Waitrose will also open new convenience stores in Ipswich town centre (1st February) and Birmingham city centre (20th March).

Notes to Editors:

- Waitrose Fulham Palace Road will open in the spring, Muswell Hill and Parsons Green are both expected to open this summer and Vauxhall open by the end of the year.

- Waitrose convenience stores range in size from 3,000sq ft to 7,000sq ft.- Waitrose convenience stores are designed to provide all the products customers may need in the next 24 to 48 hours with a focus on fresh food when you want it. As part of this choice customers will be able to choose from:

o Food to eat now: such as bread straight from the oven and the retailer’s new range of ‘food to go’ that includes sandwiches, salads, deli products and individually wrapped cakes.

o Food to take home and eat later: a focus on ingredients and fresh foods, such as meat, fish and loose vegetables - perfect for an evening meal. Or alternatively ready-made solutions such as Menu From Waitrose - restaurant-style dishes created by some of the nation’s best chefs.

o Everyday items: the retailer’s ranges such as essential Waitrose, as well as other household items such as health and beauty, cleaning products, cards and gift wrap.

- £500 is shared each month between three local charities and projects nominated by customers at Waitrose convenience stores.

For more information contact:

Zoe Blackburn
Press Assistant, Property
t:01344 825586
e: zoe_blackburn@waitrose.co.uk