Waitrose opens doors promising competitive prices
Jesmond’s second supermarket, built on the former Osborne Garage site, opened its doors for the first time this morning (2nd November) – and handed the first 50 shoppers through the door a free “breakfast goodie bag”.
JesmondLocal chief reporter Sophie Bauckham met store manager Rob Brewis ahead of the opening. Watch this video to find out more about Waitrose’s pricing plans and community values.
Brewis says he believes the new Waitrose store will have a positive impact on retail in Jesmond and will increase competitiveness in the area. “Other supermarkets have a two-tier pricing structure, where goods in smaller stores are more expensive than the bigger stores. That’s not going to happen in this Jesmond store. So I am pretty excited about our competitiveness in this area.
“We match Tesco on 1,000 products, and we match the supermarket price – we don’t match Tesco (on Acorn Road), so potentially we may be even cheaper, on some of their products. We often battle with the perception that we’re an expensive supermarket.
“Since we have arrived, a lot of the other retailers [in Jesmond] have had a refit in their stores as well, so hopefully this will be good for everyone, and raise the amount of choice and quality in Jesmond.”
Waitrose, which distributes £500 to three local causes each month through a “Community Matters” scheme are “very much about community”, says Brewis. “We like getting involved with the community, not just coming in here and steam-rolling over everyone. We want to be part of what is happeneing in Jesmond.”
Waitrose has taken on one assistant manager, four team managers and 65 partners (staff) to run the new 8,500sq ft store alongside Brewis. Close to 1,000 people applied for the 70 jobs available. Applications came from a wide variety of people, many of whom had been laid-off in other sectors or who had been out of work for a significant amount of time.