Waitrose’s new 2,000 job plan to boost manufacturing

By Michael Stones

- Last updated on GMT

Waitrose plans to create 2,000 new jobs this year
Waitrose plans to create 2,000 new jobs this year

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Waitrose’s plan to create 2,000 new jobs in stores and a new e-commerce grocery depot this year is expected to boost the retailer’s manufacturing businesses.

The up-market retailer, which operates its own farming business and meat processing plant, is opening 14 new stores across the UK from spring this year. The investment will include seven new supermarkets and seven new little Waitrose convenience shops.

It also plans to relocate one supermarket and conduct two major extensions to existing branches. 

The additions will add nearly 21,367m2​ of selling space to the business’s estate, at a time when the biggest retailers are cutting store space.

New e-commerce grocery depot

The new jobs, announced today (January 27), will include store workers and roles in its distribution department, in order to service the growing number of branches, together with a new e-commerce grocery depot in Coulsdon, South London to be opened this March.

Waitrose director of development, Nigel Keen, said the investment underlined the retailer’s commitment to multi-channel sales. “Our expansion story continues as we take the brand to more customers and invest in our omni-channel approach,” ​said Keen.

“Last year, many of our new branches received more than 10 applications for every vacancy – so we're delighted to be able to create an additional 2,000 roles in 2015.”


New retail roles

The new jobs and estate extensions contrasted sharply with the intentions of Britain’s biggest supermarkets. Tesco revealed plans to close 43 unprofitable stores​ earlier this month. It had also shelved plans to open 49 new large stores.

Sainsbury cancelled plans

Sainsbury cancelled plans​ to open new stores last November, while Morrisons disclosed plans at the beginning of the month to close 10 loss-making stores​ this year.

The cancellations came as the big four supermarkets – Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury and Morrisons – suffered unrelenting pressure from the rising sales of discount stores Aldi and Lidl. The big stores have also lost sales to the growing market share enjoyed by both Waitrose and Marks & Spencer. 

Waitrose’s new supermarkets include stores at: Wollaton, Nottinghamshire, Milngavie, East Dumbartonshire, Bagshot, Surrey, Oxford, King’s Cross – which will incorporate a new cookery school – Basingstoke, Hampshire, and Guildford, Surrey.

Waitrose Horsham will be relocated, doubling the size of the current supermarket, and the branches in Saffron Walden and Bayswater will both undergo major redevelopments.

A new little Waitrose will be opened in Heathfield, East Sussex and a further six convenience shops in new locations in the south east.

Waitrose opened a frozen beef unit at its Dovecote Park estate in June 2013. The processing unit handles all the retailer’s fresh and frozen beef.   

Meanwhile, for the latest jobs in food and drink manufacturing, visit FoodManJobs​.   

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