The biggest Waitrose in South West opens for business in Bath
The wait for Waitrose is over as the firm’s revamped Bath store opens its doors to shoppers.
The store in The Podium, which is the biggest Waitrose in the South West, received its first shoppers this morning.
Long-serving partners – as employees at the John Lewis subsidiary are known – who have been with the store since it opened in November 1989 cut the ribbon.
The £10 million investment has created 119 new jobs, and at 40,000 sq ft, the branch is almost three times its previous size.
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It has expanded into the whole of the shopping centre, where existing shops had been given notice to quit, and now includes a customer cafe and a home section, which is stocked with a range of products both from Waitrose and John Lewis.
Work has been going on for months at the store, which closed entirely for a few days this week for the final stage of the transformation.
Branch manager Nigel Huxley said: “I would like to say a big thank you to all our customers and neighbours who have been very patient while the shop has been transformed.
“I am excited about it opening and proud with how the finished shop looks.
“The partners are all excited to see the transformation and are looking forward to working in the new shop.
“There is so much more on offer now, in particular the home section. We’re delighted with the changes and hope our customers will find all they need from us this Christmas.”
Employee Vanessa Dunn was one of the people who cut the ribbon to declare the store officially open.
She said: “I heard that Waitrose was a good company to work for, which was why I joined 23 years ago.
“We have been wanting this bigger shop for years, and I am so pleased it has finally happened. I am really impressed with it and I think the customers will be too.”
Bath-based Bertinet Bakery is now supplying eight of its freshly-baked breads, including its renowned sour dough, to the shop each day.
This includes two new lines made especially for the store – a seeded crown and an orange and hazelnut tea loaf.
Owner Richard Bertinet said: “Waitrose has such a good reputation for championing excellent local suppliers so we were delighted when Waitrose approached us to supply them with Bertinet bread when the remodelled store opens.”
The new-look store also features 6,500 new product lines, a Food to Go area, new meat, fish, delicatessen and cheese counters, olive and salad counters, and self-service checkouts.