New Oundle store will be worth the Waitrose

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Supermarket giant Waitrose says its new Oundle store will open its doors to customers for the first time next Thursday, October 17.

The 15,000 sq ft supermarket is creating about 150 jobs and the firm says the store will include meat, fish, cheeses and deli counters.

Jo Maish, spokesperson for Waitrose, said the shop will open at 8am next Thursday.

She added: “Waitrose Oundle will share £12,000 each year between local charities nominated by local people as part of the Waitrose Community Matters scheme. The first three charities nominated are Oundle Rural Mind, Oundle Middle School Monday Munch Club and Volunteer Action.

“The branch will also donate 250 staff hours to local causes through our Partner Volunteering initiative.

“All Waitrose Oundle employees will become Partners in the John Lewis Partnership, the UK’s largest and oldest example of employee ownership. As Partners, they will be entitled to benefits including leisure and learning subsidies and a share in profits in the form of an annual bonus.”

Waitrose said there was high demand for the 150 jobs on offer, with about 640 people submitting applications for positions.

The new store will also have 158 car parking spaces.

Waitrose’s plans to open a supermarket in Oundle proved popular among people in the town when the scheme was mooted last year.

A public consultation was carried out in May 2012, with 579 responses received.

Of those, a total of 364, or about 60 per cent, approved of the plans, while 84, or about 14 per cent said they did not want the store.

A further 119, or about 20 per cent, said they approved of the supermarket but had some reservations about it.

At the time, Roland Bohn, Waitrose’s development surveyor, said: “We’ve done research which shows that about 74 per cent of customers in the catchment area go to the likes of Peterborough, Corby and Stamford to do their shopping.

“Part of the vitality of a town centre is how it retains people and we think a Waitrose in Oundle will do that.

“We found that the site matched our needs and we think we will satisfy adequately Oundle’s needs too.

“We will look to include signage that points the way to the town centre, and I think we can work together with traders in Oundle to promote the town centre. We will look to integrate ourselves within the community.”