Birch Hill - closed branch (2007)
The Gazette of 1 December 2007 reported on the closure of Waitrose Birch Hill, as branch managers past and present, gathered to reminisce over the past 31 years. (Reporter Judith Zerdin).
‘All 12 of Birch Hill’s branch managers, past and present, reunited at the branch to say goodbye to their former Partners and the branch, ranging from the current BM, Stuart Gibbon, to the very first BM, David Gumm, who opened the shop back in 1976. Mr Gumm said: “On the first Friday evening the shop was so full I stood outside the front doors with the Operations Manager and we discussed whether or not we should stop any more customers coming in. Although the shop closed at 8pm it took until 9pm to get everybody out. A very large proportion of the Partners were new to Waitrose, yet they performed like seasoned veterans and were absolutely brilliant.
Lee Homer’s overriding memory of the branch was its ability to engage with all Partners every day, and because of the intimacy of the branch everyone got to know each other that much better. I wish everyone all the best at Sandhurst.
David Paul, Head of Selling Operations, Group B, “There is a wonderful team spirit here and the willingness of most Partners to agree to transfer to Sandhurst speaks volumes”. ‘