Waitrose gears up for opening

WAITROSE is gearing up to open a new store in Saxmundham by laying on a free bus service to local shops. The retailer took over the former Somerfield store in Church Street yesterday and will be giving the site a multi-million pound makeover head of its opening on May 7.

WAITROSE is gearing up to open a new store in Saxmundham by laying on a free bus service to local shops.

The retailer took over the former Somerfield store in Church Street yesterday and will be giving the site a multi-million pound makeover head of its opening on May 7.

The 14,000sq ft store will offer meat, fish, cheese and delicatessen counters run by specially trained staff, as well as a selection of local speciality foods.

An event on Wednesday at Saxmundham's Market Hall introduced the public to some of the store's local suppliers and gave members of the public a chance to sample their products.


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Among the suppliers were Debenham-based cider and vinegar makers Aspalls, rapeseed oil makers Hill Farm Oils, Suffolk coffee suppliers Paddy & Scotts, St Peter's brewery, Elveden Fine Foods and Eye-based Pesto makers StarkNaked.

Waitrose is providing a courtesy bus service from Aldeburgh to Leiston ahead of the opening, provided by Coastal Accessible Transport Services (CATS) which is says will enable the community to do its food shop ahead of the refurbishment.

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The 16-seat bus service with disabled access will run up to three times a week until the store opens. Leaflets with more information are available at local doctors' surgeries and supermarkets, and details are also included in the Saxmundham Town Council spring newsletter.

Manager of the new store Simon Dickinson said: “At Waitrose, we pride ourselves on becoming part of a town's fabric and understand the important role we now have in your local community.”

Mr Dickinson said the community event had proved popular.

“Even though the new store will only take two weeks to refurbish, we knew that local residents would need somewhere else to do their food shop. The free bus service really reflects our values of community spirit, enabling people to access local amenities before we open,” he said.

“The Community event was really popular and gave the Waitrose team the chance to meet customers and talk to them about the new store. Visitors met some of our local food and drink suppliers and tasted a selection of the delicious products we will be selling. We also had a really positive reaction to the free bus service we are running to local shops for the next two weeks until the branch opens on May 7.”

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