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Saturday 08th of January 2011
January 5, 2011    

Waitrose to open more stores in 2011

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by Kay Murchie
”Waitrose

Luxury supermarket chain, Waitrose, will open 39 new stores this year in the UK, creating 3,000 new jobs.

The chain, which is part of the renowned employee-owned department store, John Lewis, is quickly becoming one of the UK’s fastest growing supermarkets.

Twenty seven of the new outlets will be in the new convenience store format, while the remaining 12 will include full-sized supermarkets.

Despite many retailers reporting a poor performance in December as a result of the bad weather, the chain said like-for-like sales were up 5.9% between Christmas and New Years Eve - boosted by sales of champagne and party food.

The company, which has 241 stores and a workforce of 43,000, recently pledged to double sales and market share over the next 10 years as the chain strives to become “more accessible to more people” by opening smaller convenience stores.

The announcement comes as John Lewis reported strong sales during the Christmas period.

The John Lewis Partnership, which is regarded as a barometer of British retailing, said sales rose in the five weeks to 1 January.

The department store said sales grew 8.9% to £545 million, compared with the same period a year ago.

Sales at the retailer were boosted by purchases of electrical goods, while online sales surged 42%.

Andy Street, John Lewis managing director, comments: “Online sales soared during the first snowfall as customers struggled to get to the shops.

“When the weather turned for a second time closer to Christmas, shoppers wanted the reassurance of having their goods in their hands, and our shops saw sales surge as a result,” he added.

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