May 20 2013 Latest news:
By Paul Geater
Thursday, September 13, 2012
THE new Waitrose/John Lewis At Home store on the edge of Ipswich will open on November 8 – allowing it to attract the busy Christmas shopping period.
And as the new double store on Futura Park, off Ransomes Way, prepares to open its doors it has emerged that there have been more than six applications for each of the 375 jobs being created there.
The new Waitrose store will have 250 employees and John Lewis At Home will have 125 staff – eventually some of the staff may work between the two stores although initially they will be dedicated on one or the other.
Waitrose is part of the John Lewis Partnership, and all staff are partners in the business and share in a profit-sharing bonus.
A total of 2,350 people applied for jobs and those who were successful are currently preparing for the opening eight weeks from today.
Waitrose manager Paul Reeley said: “This is a really exciting time for us and the opening will mark the extension of our presence in Ipswich and the surrounding areas.
“I am looking forward to meeting my new team over the coming weeks and working with them closely as they progress through their training ahead of the opening day.”
John Lewis At Home manager Anna Moir added: “We have wanted to bring the John Lewis offer to Suffolk for some time now.
“The quality of applications we have received has been extremely high and I am delighted to be welcoming a team who will deliver the exceptional levels of customer service we’re renowned for, to the residents of Ipswich and Suffolk.”
Ipswich MP Ben Gummer said the opening of the stores was a major coup for the town – it would show that the area was changing and he hoped the stores would encourage more people from outside the town to visit Ipswich.
He did not feel that the number of applications per job was significant – except that it showed there was a healthy job market in Ipswich.
Mr Gummer said: “Six applications per job is more or less what you would expect – if there were fewer than that it would suggest the jobs market was pretty stagnant. If there were 60 applications per job it would be more startling.
“This is very good news for the town – it really shows how Ipswich is developing.”
Are you looking forward to the new stores opening? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail email@example.com