U.K.'s Waitrose announces plan to open 39 new shops this year, create 3,000 jobs across the country, following strong December performance, when total sales rose 9.7% and 5.9% on a like-for-like basis

BRACKNELL, England , January 5, 2011 (press release) – Waitrose is to open 39 new shops this year, resulting in the creation of 3,000 jobs across the country.

The new store openings follow a successful Christmas for Waitrose, which saw the retailer’s sales grow by 8.9% and 5.4% on a like for like basis. (based on 23 days until December 23)

Waitrose’s strong December performance continued beyond Christmas with total sales up by 9.7% and 5.9% on a like for like basis (based on the five days Waitrose traded between Christmas and December 31st.) Sales were driven by a particularly strong New Year’s Eve with Champagne and party food top of customers’ shopping lists.

In 2011 Waitrose has 12 full sized supermarkets in the pipeline, including five new branches in the Channel Islands (which will open between February and April) and new shops in Stratford, Raynes Park, Wimbledon, Exeter, Marlow and Newton Mearns (Glasgow).

The remainder of the new branches will be convenience shops in locations including Old Brompton and Palmers Green (both opening in January).

Waitrose Managing Director, Mark Price, said:

"Our strong Christmas trading figures give us confidence for the year ahead, when we will be continuing to invest in the future growth of our business.

"In the current climate we’re very pleased to be employing 3,000 new Partners within our business."

The new jobs will include management and non-management roles, as well as food specialists in meat, cheese, fish and wines.

For more information please contact:

James Armstrong, Communications Manager - 01344 824657

Gill Smith, Senior PR Manager - 07887898133

Amy Hayward-Paine, Communications Manager - 01344 825026


Notes to Editors:

Notes to Editors

Waitrose, the food shops of the John Lewis Partnership, has 241 shops in England, Scotland and Wales.

Kantar World Market showed Waitrose sales for the 12 weeks to 28 November 2010 were up by 9.4% on last year, almost three times the total till roll growth. Its till roll share has risen from 3.9 to 4.1% and its grocery market share rose from 4.5 to 4.8%.

This growth has been driven by the success of the essential Waitrose range, an unmatchable top tier of products including the new Duchy Originals from Waitrose, free delivery driving rapid online growth, as well as a long term commitment to sourcing the UK's finest local and regional foods.

Waitrose combines the convenience of a supermarket with the expertise and service of a specialist shop - dedicated to offering quality food that has been responsibly sourced, combined with high standards of customer service. (www.waitrose.com )

Waitrose, the food shops of the John Lewis Partnership, has 241 shops in England, Scotland and Wales.Kantar World Market showed Waitrose sales for the 12 weeks to 28 November 2010 were up by 9.4% on last year, almost three times the total till roll growth. Its till roll share has risen from 3.9 to 4.1% and its grocery market share rose from 4.5 to 4.8%.This growth has been driven by the success of the essential Waitrose range, an unmatchable top tier of products including the new Duchy Originals from Waitrose, free delivery driving rapid online growth, as well as a long term commitment to sourcing the UK's finest local and regional foods. Waitrose combines the convenience of a supermarket with the expertise and service of a specialist shop - dedicated to offering quality food that has been responsibly sourced, combined with high standards of customer service. (www.waitrose.com)

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