Jobs boost as store prepares to open

IPSWICH: Final preparations are being completed before the opening of the town’s first Waitrose store next week.

The Little Waitrose is due to open on the ground floor of the Corn Exchange on Wednesday, February 1 – creating 44 new jobs.

And the company is already starting to prepare for the recruitment of staff to its new Waitrose/John Lewis At Home store which is due to open on Ransomes Way.

There will be 300 jobs created there, and recruitment is due to start in the autumn.

The two stores are scheduled to open in spring 2013 – but directors of the John Lewis Partnership (which includes Waitrose) have admitted they would like to be open by Christmas of this year if possible.

There were 320 applicants for the 44 jobs at the Corn Exchange and the company worked with Job Centre Plus to help find the right staff.

Everyone who works for Waitrose becomes a member of the John Lewis Partnership. Last year staff received 18 per cent of their annual salary in a profit-related bonus.

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Waitrose Ipswich store manager, Fiona McWilliam, said: “The opening of the Corn Exchange marks the first in a series of major investments by the John Lewis Partnership in Ipswich and underlines our confidence in the future of the town centre and wider area as a vibrant retail destination.

“We were overwhelmed by the calibre of applications we received and there will be more opportunities to join the business when recruitment for our new stores in Ransomes Way starts later in this year.

“As a relatively new partner myself, I have enjoyed numerous chances to develop my own skills and I am thoroughly looking forward to undertaking an exciting challenge here in Ipswich.”

n See the Star next week for a look behind the scenes at the town’s newest store.

n Have you got a new job at Waitrose? What’s it like to be a partner in your company? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail starletters@archant.co.uk

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