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29 Sep 2016

Greg Clark MP opens new Hawkhurst Waitrose


The Rt Hon Greg Clark, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, unveiled Hawkhurst’s new Waitrose at 8am on Thursday 29th September.  

The MP for Tunbridge Wells was joined by Waitrose management board director, Nigel Keen and store manager, Jeremy Barnard.

Dr Clark said:

“I'm delighted to be opening the Hawkhurst Waitrose. Hawkhurst is fortunate in having a wide range of shops and cafes and it is good to see Waitrose expand into the village by taking over this important site.

“Waitrose has a good reputation for customer service and as an employer and I wish the business every success in Hawkhurst.”

Waitrose reached an agreement with Booker Retail Partners GB to acquire the 10,300 sq ft Budgens unit in February this year and took ownership in the summer.

The Rye Road store has created 57 new jobs in addition to those staff who wished to transfer across from Budgens. More than 250 applications were received in just a couple of weeks for the new roles. The store will employ 75 people in total.

All new employees have become members of the John Lewis Partnership, the UK’s oldest and largest example of employee ownership. This entitles them to exclusive benefits, including leisure and learning subsidies, shopping discounts and a share in profits in the form of an annual bonus, which ensures a proportion of profits remains in the local community.

Store manager, Jeremy Barnard, said:

“We are proud to be in Hawkhurst and are delighted that the minister was able to join us in unveiling the new store. Having a readymade supermarket unit has enabled us to open relatively quickly, but we are grateful for residents’ patience while we transformed the store.  We can now look forward to providing shoppers with our latest products and services as well as playing a role in the local community.”

Fresh meat and fish counters, a hospitality area and an award-winning wine department feature as well as thousands of products with a focus on fresh foods. John Lewis ‘click and collect’, dry cleaning and the scan as you shop service, Waitrose QuickCheck are available too. The Post Office has also been retained.

Waitrose has also launched two community-focused initiatives to support local charities and projects in the area which have been nominated by its Hawkhurst customers. Its Partner Volunteering programme will provide 100 staff working hours each year and its Community Matters ‘green token’ scheme will see £500 shared between three causes every month.    

For more information please contact:
James Armstrong on 01344 824657/07764 676880 or email

Waitrose - winner of the Best Supermarket¹ and Best Food and Grocery Retailer² awards - currently has 353 shops in England, Scotland, Wales and the Channel Islands, including 64 convenience branches, and another 27 shops at Welcome Break locations. It combines the convenience of a supermarket with the expertise and service of a specialist shop - dedicated to offering quality food that has been responsibly sourced, combined with high standards of customer service. Waitrose also exports its products to 58 countries worldwide and has seven shops which operate under licence in the Middle East. Waitrose's omnichannel business includes the online grocery service,, as well as specialist online shops including for wine, and for cookware, utensils and kitchen gadgets.  
¹Which? Customer survey
²Verdict Customer Satisfaction Awards


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