Clerkenwell: Opening

Waitrose Clerkenwell (492) opened on19th November 2009.
The following is an extract from the article which appeared in the Partnership in-house magazine at the time.

Pedestrians in Clerkenwell could not have failed to notice our new branch opening there last week as a new ‘green’ pavement marketing campaign highlighted the way to the shop.
The campaign called ‘clean advertising’ projects images onto pavements by cleaning away dirt and using stencils to create an advert. We are the first supermarket to use this method of advertising.
‘Clerkenwell is a hub for marketing agencies so it was appropriate to trial this new creative way of advertising in an area where it would create impact. There is also a high volume of footfall, especially at lunchtime, so advertising on the pavements was a perfect solution to direct people to the store,’ said Jeremy, Assistant Marketing Manager, Branch Projects.
The 9,296 sq. foot branch was our 52nd in London and our 221st overall. It offers a full range along with Food to Go, cheese, deli, meat and fish counters.
‘An eclectic mix of customers,’ is foreseen by BM Neil. ‘We have low cost social housing, studio apartments, expensive professional housing, media and creative businesses as well as commuters, because we are on the edge of the City. We are also just up the road from several universities, so we have to appeal to many different kinds of customers,’ he said.
The branch has recruited a high number of part-time Partners who are also students. Pete is in his final year of a degree in Graphic Design at Central St Martins College of Art and Design. ‘I share the ethics and values of Waitrose, and I like the fact that you’re not just staff, you’re a Partner and everyone’s treated equally,’ he said.
In total the branch has recruited nearly 90 new Partners and around 10 have transferred from other branches.
The branch, which is situated on St John Street, in the heart of Clerkenwell, is part of a brand new, ongoing development, which will eventually see luxury apartments built on top of the shop with office blocks and low-cost housing behind. The opening of the branch was postponed because the first developer was hit by the downturn, which delayed construction. Building work on the development was due to be completed within six months, but the branch is determined to cope with the challenges.
‘We’re running on temporary power, and we are having to work around builders,’ said Neil. ‘We’ve also got the tightest delivery restrictions of any branch – we only have a two-hour window in the morning and evening. It has been a challenge, but it’s something you have to work with in London.’
Neil, who has been a Partner for 26 years, comes to Clerkenwell from Bloomsbury, which he opened three years ago. He will look after both branches. He is most looking forward to ‘putting a stamp on and creating the identity of the branch,’ he explained. ‘The great thing about a new branch is that everyone has a plan, an idea, and seeing whether those plans meet expectations. I want to see Partners adapt to that. That’s part of the challenge and the fun.’
‘I am delighted to have at last got Clerkenwell opened,’ added Des, HoRO Group F. ‘I’m very proud of the team that Neil has put together. The shop is compact, but the store design team have done us a great job in making it a really interesting place to shop. I want to pay tribute to Construction Project Manager Alastair and the Building Group for having worked so tirelessly to get us where we are today.’

Chronicle. Vol 69 No 48

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