Ipswich: Waitrose bosses buoyed by positive response to new store

Retail giant Waitrose is hoping to have positive news about its proposed arrival in town over the next few weeks.

And bosses at the company have been encouraged by the generally-positive reaction to the news that it wants to build two new stores in the town.

As revealed in The Evening Star, Waitrose hopes to build a major new out of town store on the former Crane site in Nacton Road.

The company is still deciding whether to build a “Waitrose Food and Home” store which includes household lines from parent company the John Lewis Partnership.

Alternatively it could build separate Waitrose and John Lewis stores on the site.

The company is also hoping to develop a smaller food store in Ipswich town centre.

It is currently in talks with borough council officials about converting the ground floor of the Corn Exchange in to a town centre supermarket.

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This would use the Robert Cross Hall and Gatsby’s Bar.

The new Waitrose developments in Ipswich could lead to the creation of up to 400 jobs once they are opened – and the Nacton Road development would be a welcome boost for the construction industry.

A spokesman for Waitrose said the company had been delighted by the reaction to the news that it was coming to town.

He said: “Waitrose has been keen to find a site in Ipswich for many years – and we are very pleased at the generally positive reaction we have had to this news.

“We are currently talking to officials at the council and are drawing up plans which we hope to be able to show off to people before too long.

“Everything is looking positive for us as far as we can see and that is very good news.”

At present the nearest Waitrose stores to Ipswich are at Bury St Edmunds, Sudbury, Saxmundham and Colchester.

But the company – which is owned by its staff through the John Lewis Partnership – has been looking to come to Ipswich for many years.

In the 1990s an attempt to develop a store on Westerfield Road was rejected by the borough – and since there it has been looking for a site to come to town. That search now seems to have ended.