Waitrose, the food shops of the John Lewis Partnership, has announced that it has entered into agreement with developers, St. Andrew’s Avenue LLP (assisted by Aquila Developments Ltd.), for the former Glyn Webb DIY store site in St. Andrew’s Avenue, Colchester to be turned into their newest store. The initial exchange of contracts was conditional to formal approval of the application by the Council, which has now been received, so work will now proceed.
While Waitrose only signed up in August, the developers already had an application to open a supermarket on the site recommended for approval by Colchester Council’s Planning Officers. This deal continues to build on the food shop’s ambitious expansion plans, which have seen the supermarket develop into a national brand over the last five years.
The new Waitrose supermarket will have a retail area of 23,000sq ft and will offer 222 car parking spaces for shoppers. Work will start on converting the store in January 2009 with an anticipated opening in October next year. Up to 150 job opportunities will be created for the local community. As employees in the John Lewis Partnership, they will be entitled to a share in annual profits, shopping discounts and a say in how the business is run.
Waitrose Director of Development, Nigel Keen, said: “There is a real passion forquality food here and we welcome the opportunity to bring Waitrose to Colchester for the first time so people can discover more about our brand. We pride ourselves on becoming part of the fabric of a town and we look forward to playing an important role in adding to the vibrancy of the town and offering more choice for the local community.”
Tony Chambers, on behalf of the developers, added: “We are delighted Waitrose has committed itself to the scheme. We believe this will create a real focal point for people in Colchester and provide them with key services at the heart of their community.”
The shop will offer a wide range of quality fresh foods and groceries, an award-winning wine collection, specialist meat, fish and cheese counters together with a bakery and delicatessen.
Waitrose has 191 branches in its estate including stores in Wales and Scotland and has just been named Britain’s Best High Street Retailer at the Which? Awards 2008 and Supermarket of the Year by the RSPCA at its Good Business Awards in 2008. The food shop has won more major wine awards than any other retailer and was named Supermarket of the Year 2007 at the Decanter World Wine Awards.
Waitrose sells over 1,700 organic products, over 60 different types of fish and seafood and more than 100 different cheeses. The food shop also enjoys one of the best reputations for dealing with farmers and suppliers