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30 Jun 2016

Robin Walker MP opens new Waitrose in Worcester

Waitrose Worcester

Robin Walker MP officially unveiled Worcester’s first Waitrose on Thursday, 30th June. He was joined by branch manager, Scott Whittaker, and nine-year-old Isobel from Nunnery Wood Primary School who won a competition to design a shopping bag for the new store.

The 38,000 sq ft branch is within the top ten largest Waitrose stores in the UK and has created 130 jobs following more than 1,300 job applications*.  

The London Road store is the second Waitrose - and the first outside London - to include a draft beer pump, which is supplied by the Purity Brewing Company in Alcester**.  It is located in the shop’s wine bar, a new concept seen in just seven Waitrose stores across the country, where customers can enjoy a beer or wine by the glass along with deli platters and tapas.

Darryl Hinksman, Purity Brewing Company’s Director of Sales, said: “Shoppers will be able to enjoy two different styles of beer as we will be alternating between Longhorn; an American style rye IPA, and Lawless; an unfiltered unpasteurised hoppy lager, currently gold medal holder from the 2015 World Beer Awards for best German style Pilsner."  

The branch is also only the sixth Waitrose to offer a sushi bar which is manned by sushi chefs, who prepare fresh products in front of customers throughout the day. The retailer became the first UK supermarket to include a fresh sushi bar in November last year.   

A café, an eat-in bakery, fresh meat and fish counters are all available as well as services including Waitrose Quick Check so customers can scan as they shop, online shopping and John Lewis click-and collect.

Waitrose has also confirmed the launch of two community-focused initiatives to support local charities and projects in the area which have been nominated by its Worcester customers.

Its Partner Volunteering programme will provide 250 staff hours each year and its Community Matters ‘green token’ scheme will see £1,000 shared between three causes every month.    

The first to benefit from the Community Matters initiative will be St Richard’s Hospice, Acorns Children's Hospice, and New College Worcester, a residential school and college for young people aged 11 to 19 who are blind or partially sighted.

At the end of their shop, customers can vote for one of the charities by placing a green token in the box. The more tokens a cause gets, the bigger the donation they receive from the £1,000 fund.

In addition, the store includes a community room, providing free space to local not-for-profit organisations and groups. The room will be available for use whenever the store is trading, including weekends.

Branch manager, Scott Whittaker said: “We are really proud to be opening in Worcester, to have generated new employment opportunities for local people and to be adding to the investment the city continues to attract. Waitrose Worcester will be among our largest in the UK and a real flagship for our brand."

 

For more information please contact:
james.armstrong@waitrose.co.uk

Note to editors:

1)*All employees have become members of the John Lewis Partnership, entitling them to exclusive benefits, including leisure and learning subsidies, shopping discounts and a share in profits in the form of an annual bonus.

2) **Purity is based only twenty miles from the store on the Worcestershire/Warwickshire border and shares many of its values with Waitrose, especially its commitment to running a sustainable business in all senses. 

3) Waitrose - winner of the Best Supermarket¹ and Best Food and Grocery Retailer² awards – now has 349 shops in England, Scotland, Wales and the Channel Islands, including 60 convenience branches, and another 27 shops at Welcome Break locations. Waitrose also

exports its products to 58 countries worldwide and has eight shops which operate under licence in the Middle East.    

¹Which? Customer survey
²Verdict Customer Satisfaction Awards       

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