Waitrose 168 opened in the town centre of Andover on 6th October 1970. On the same morning, a large Tesco opened in Andover with an official ceremony performed by celebrities. However Waitrose was able to attract a large number of customers and by 11 o’clock trading was quite brisk.
The manager was Mr R G Jenner, who was previously the deputy manager at Henley. Andover was the third largest supermarket in 1970, employing 110 Partners.
In August 1990, Waitrose Andover relocated to a new branch, but still within the Chantry Centre. The new shop was able to offer an expanded assortment, and an even better standard of service. All Partners were enthusiastic about the move. “The old branch still looked remarkably good” said Mr Fred Baker, assistant SM on wines, who had been at the branch since it opened in 1970. “But when I saw the new shop I realised that it had got a bit dated.”
“Transferring a branch is rather different from opening a new one as you have two operations on the go at the same time.” said Mr McLauchlan. “You are preparing the new shop while at the same time the old branch must be run as efficiently as possible. The aim is still to have every line available up to the last minute but to have as little stock as possible to be transferred when the branch closes.”
There were 12 main checkouts plus two in the wine department. “The tills will all be equipped with an electronic system to take debit cards such as Switch.”
Some 70 extra Partners were recruited for the new shop. Mrs Linda Conduct was one of the new Partners: she started work at the old branch: “I had a lot to learn but it has been very interesting. I went to Romsey to train on the salad bar and I am looking forward to dealing with that in the new shop.”