Ipswich: Retail giants John Lewis and Waitrose prepare for arrival in the town

THE town’s newest retail destination is on course for an autumn opening with both John Lewis At Home and the new Waitrose superstore due to open in November.

The two stores will share a single large retail unit on Futura Park, off Ransomes Way, and share services and administration – Waitrose is the grocery arm of the John Lewis Partnership.

Their managers have just been appointed – and both have experience of the company in this part of the world.

Paul Reeley, 53, was the launch manager for both the Saxmundham and Colchester branches of Waitrose and also oversaw the expansion of the Sudbury store.

He is the first manager of the Waitrose superstore in Ipswich and is looking forward to opening the doors.

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He said: “This will be one of our larger stores, selling the entire Waitrose range – as well as a wide range of locally-sourced products from suppliers in the area.”

Waitrose will create 250 jobs at the superstore and John Lewis a further 120. Everyone working for the company is a partner in John Lewis, and shares in any profits made.

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There have been nearly 1,200 applicants for the Waitrose jobs.

Mr Reeley said: “We are delighted by the calibre of the applicants.

“It seems that Waitrose and John Lewis is an organisation that people really want to work for.”

During the first few months, especially over the busy period, the two shops will operate with separate workforces – but as the business settles down some staff may work between the two.

Anna Moir is the branch manager of the new John Lewis at home shop in Ipswich.

The 40-year-old has been part of the John Lewis Partnership for the last three years as branch manager of Waitrose, Saxmundham.

She has had a 19-year career in retailing, working her way up from lingerie consultant to branch manager and gaining significant management experience as she progressed her career.

She said: “ I have become very familiar with Suffolk having worked in Waitrose branches in Saxmundham, Sudbury, Bury St Edmunds and Newmarket over the last three years.

“I’m absolutely delighted to be taking on this new role at John Lewis at home Ipswich. I’m particularly excited about introducing the John Lewis brand to Ipswich and Suffolk and building a new team that will deliver the exceptional customer service John Lewis is so renowned for.”

n Are you looking forward to the arrival of the new stores? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail starletters@archant.co.uk

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