Waitrose has announced that it has reached an agreement with Booker Retail Partners GB to acquire its Budgens shop in the Kent village of Hawkhurst, south-east of Tunbridge Wells.
Budgens will continue to trade until summer at a date to be confirmed. It will then be handed over to Waitrose with the new store expected to open in autumn 2016.
All Budgens staff employed at the branch will transfer to Waitrose. The supermarket chain anticipates creating up to 40 more jobs at the new branch, with recruitment expected to start in the summer.
Waitrose has also announced it will be launching its Community Matters and Partner Volunteering schemes which will see £6,000 and 100 hours donated to local causes nominated by customers each year.
Waitrose director of development Nigel Keen said: “This is an exciting opportunity to bring the Waitrose brand to Hawkhurst and we cannot wait to welcome our new customers in the autumn. We look forward to becoming part of the community and making a positive contribution to the area for many years to come.”