A big turnout is expected for Peterborough’s new Waitrose store when it opens its doors on Thursday morning (30 October) with roadworks on Bourges Boulevard even being lifted to help cope with demand.
The first customers at the multi-million pound store at 8am are to be greeted by branch manager Jon Ashley-Webb, Waitrose partner Chris Flood and competition winner Lucas (5) from the charity NewArk.
The new 29,000 square foot store in Mayor’s Walk is replacing the existing, smaller store in the Queensgate Shopping Centre.
Such has been the expected demand for the new store, and subsequent increased traffic, planned works on Bourges Boulevard have been timed to finish just before the opening day with a northbound lane being re-opened.
High demand has also come in the number of job applicants to Waitrose with 1,218 applications for the 100 new roles the branch has created.
The store has a 240-space car park as well as a café, juice and smoothie bar, extended wine department and bakery.
Waitrose partner Chris (58) began working with the chain in 1982 as a butcher’s cutter when the shop first opened at Queensgate.
He said: “When I first started at Waitrose Peterborough I was cutting meat on a block with a bandsaw, and despite working for the same company for 32 years, I feel as though I’ve tried my hand at a variety of different roles.
“Having been a partner for Waitrose Peterborough since the start it has been my home away from home, but we are all now looking forward to moving into the new and modernised shop.”
Plans for the new Waitrose in Peterborough were first announced by the chain in November last year.
Branch manager Jon Ashley-Webb said: “Peterborough is a great city and we hope that our new shop will enhance our brand’s presence in the city centre and attract even more people to the area.”
Related: Ambitious plans to transform Peterborough city centre, 29 November 2013