Ipswich: Staff at new John Lewis and Waitrose ready for tomorrow’s grand opening

IPSWICH’S largest new retail development for a decade is due to open its doors tomorrow.

And there is the usual last- minute race against time to get Waitrose and John Lewis at Home ready for shoppers.

The last-minute stock was starting to arrive as we were given a behind-the-scenes look at preparations at the two stores on the Futura Park retail site.

A clear sign that opening is imminent was the arrival of the first perishable goods in the chiller cabinets at Waitrose.

Although there are two distinct stores, Waitrose and John Lewis at Home share many of the “back office” functions and eventually staff are likely to work between the two stores depending on how busy things are.

It is the first time the employee-owned company has opened a dual store on the same site – and its managers are looking forward to opening their doors at 9am tomorrow.

John Lewis at Home manager Anna Moir is a former manager of the Waitrose in Saxmundham and has also managed at House of Fraser and Selfridges stores.

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She said the 43,000sq ft store, which is over two storeys, is now almost fully-stocked with items valued at more than �3million. Waitrose manager Paul Reeley is also looking forward to tomorrow’s opening of the town’s first large Waitrose store.

He has also managed the Saxmundham and Sudbury branches of the supermarket chain – and said the store would be looking to help local suppliers along with stocking household names.

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