UPMARKET grocer Waitrose is planning to create 2,000 jobs this year, including about 180 in East Dunbartonshire, as it expands its network of stores.
The retailer, part of the employee-owned John Lewis Partnership, is on track to open 14 shops across the UK, including a branch in Milngavie.
Set to open in June, the store will be situated on a former training pitch at West of Scotland Football Club.
Waitrose’s expansion plans come less than a week after discount supermarket Lidl said it would create 500 jobs amid a multi-million pound investment in its Scottish business.
Both chains have been growing rapidly at the expense of the “big four” grocers. Market leader Tesco recently cancelled plans to build eight supermarkets in Scotland. Rival Morrisons is to close ten loss-making stores this year, putting more than 400 jobs at risk, but none of the affected branches are north of the Border.
As well as opening 14 branches – including seven convenience stores – Waitrose is taking on more staff at its e-commerce grocery depot in south London, which is due to open in March.
Director of development Nigel Keen said: “Last year, many of our new branches received more than ten applications for every vacancy, so we’re delighted to be able to create an additional 2,000 roles in 2015.”
Waitrose employs 61,000 people across 336 shops, including 60 convenience stores and 29 sites at Welcome Break motorway services.
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