Ipswich: Eight people applying for every job at new store

IPSWICH: Eight people have applied for every job being created at the new “Little Waitrose” store in the ground floor of the Corn Exchange, The Evening Star can reveal today.

As revealed in the Star, the new store is due to open at the beginning of February, giving the town centre a welcome boost at what is traditionally a very quiet time of the year.

The store will create about 40 new jobs, but there have so far been 320 applicants. Interviews are due to take place over the next few weeks, organised by the town’s Job Centre Plus.

The store will be open between 7am and 9pm Monday to Saturday and from 9am to 8pm on Sunday. Because of its limited floorspace, it will be legally permitted to open for longer on Sundays than larger stores.

Ipswich council leader David Ellesmere, who will be fighting the seat for Labour at the next general election, said the high number of applicants was probably based on two factors.

He said: “John Lewis and Waitrose have a very good reputation as employers and their staff are partners which gives them an added stake – so it is not surprising that many people have applied.

“But there is also the fact that these are very tough times and any new jobs are at a premium – it shows how important it is to get the economy growing again.”

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Conservative MP for North Ipswich Dr Dan Poulter said Waitrose had always been popular employers.

He said: “When I was deputy leader of a council in Surrey a new Waitrose opened and attracted many applicants for every job.

“It is certainly a brand that people want to work for – and shoppers will want to use.

“This is very good news for Ipswich.”

n Have you applied for a Waitrose job? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or alternatively you can send an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk