Waitrose opened its first store at the market town of Faringdon in Oxfordshire last Thursday (February 2).
The Mayor of Faringdon Councillor Mike Wise; Deputy Leader of the Vale of White Horse District Council Councillor Roger Cox; and Oxford County Councillor for Faringdon Judith Heathcoat; were all in attendance to welcome the first customers.
They were joined by store manager, Craig Barnard, who was part of the management team at the grocery retailer’s Botley Road store in Oxford.
Craig Barnard said: “We have been overwhelmed by the sense of anticipation around our arrival in Faringdon Park. We are incredibly proud to be adding to the investment being made here and of the store we have created. We look forward to playing our part in bringing people to the catchment.”
The 6,500sq ft store has created 50 new jobs with almost 90% of staff hailing from Faringdon itself. More than 200 applications were received in just a couple of weeks for the new roles, which include customer service, hospitality and supermarket assistant positions.
The new store will feature thousands of products with a focus on fresh foods, a hospitality area with 16 covers, and a wine department.
John Lewis ‘click and collect’, dry cleaning, ‘scan as you shop’ service, Waitrose QuickCheck and its food ordering service, Waitrose Entertaining, will be available too.
The supermarket chain has also launched its Community Matters ‘green token’ initiative which will see £500 shared between three causes every month. The Pump House Project, Faringdon Pre-School and The Sensory Garden will be the first three causes to benefit.