BEDFORD’S newest supermarket opens its doors today, and 140 new members of staff will begin their new jobs.
The Waitrose store, in Goldington Road was officially opened by Dave Hodgson, the Mayor of Bedford this morning (Thursday).
And store manager Peter Ibbotson, who has taken on the multi-million pound project after overseeing a North West London branch, claims that the people of Bedford will like their new supermarket.
He said: “Waitrose has been looking to get a store in Bedford for a long time. We definitely feel that Bedford is a Waitrose place to be.
“We got some pretty successful branches in St Neots, Ampthill and Rushden which people from the Bedford area travel to. So by opening here we are keeping our residents shopping in their local area.”
And Peter claimed that Waitrose has long since shaken off its image of being an expensive place to shop, and will compete well in a town that has eight Tesco stores.
He said: “Waitrose has moved a long way in terms of pricing. We now have the Essential range which still has the Waitrose quality but at really good value prices.
“We also offer a Tesco brand price match. We realise that some prices do cost more but we see value as not just about price, it’s about provenance, quality and animal welfare too.”
As well as trying out the new supermarket, customers can also use new technology to buy their shopping in the shape of Waitrose’s own Quick Check system. Armed with a personal scanner, shoppers can track the cost of their groceries as they shop and pay conveniently and quickly at a special check out.
And charities are also set to benefit from the new store. Every month Waitrose will give £1,000 to a local cause and shoppers can vote for who gets it.
But it is the 140 staff who will man the new store who are set to benefit most from the new employment opportunity. These include Amie Barker, 25, from Flitwick who has previously worked as a hairdresser.
Amie, like the rest of the staff will benefit from becoming a shareholder in the company, a boost which last year saw all staff members take home a 14 per cent bonus. Staff can also expect specialist training and even subsidies towards learning which encompasses everything from a new language to a musical instrument.
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Weather for Bedford
Wednesday 19 June 2013
Temperature: 14 C to 24 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 12 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: East