Keynsham Waitrose announces opening date and what's in store for shoppers

February 19 2014

Keynsham's new Waitrose store will welcome its first customers through the doors on March 20, the company has announced.

Keynsham's new Waitrose store will welcome its first customers through the doors  on March 20, the company has announced.

The retail giant is taking over the Co-op supermarket in Broadmead Lane, which closed on Saturday, February 15. Waitrose officially acquires the site tomorrow (February 20).

More details of what residents can expect to find in the new store and what will be happening over the next few weeks were revealed by opening branch manager James Baldry at a presentation to Keynsham town councillors last night (February 18).

The company has four weeks to completely transform the Broadmead Lane site, he explained, gutting the existing fixtures and fittings to create a larger 27,000 square foot sales floor, including a 72-seater cafe and meat, fish, deli and hot food counters, bakery and wine department.

The Keynsham store will also be piloting a "grazing area", where a bench and seating will be provided next to the deli and bakery areas to allow customers to stop for something to eat and drink as they shop in the store.

The store will sell some non-food goods such as kitchenware and plants, but won't have a clothing range, he said.

Staff training will also be carried out during the four weeks for the 82 former Co-op emplyees who have transferred to the new store and for the 125 new members of staff taken on in a recruitment drive.

Mr Baldry, who attended Tuesday's meeting with retail manager Darren Emmett and retail support manager Verity Prest, said: "We are thrilled to be part of a very vibrant community and we are very much looking forward to taking part in it."

As part of its work in the community, he said, representatives from the store would also be meeting with local schools to discuss how the firm could help them through healthy eating campaigns or CV writing advice, for example.

Three different local charities will also receive a share of £1,000 each month through the company's Community Matters scheme, in which customers are given a token after every shop to put towards one of three good causes selected every month.