St Albans (166): Opening
There is a real juxtaposition between the Roman remains of Verulamium, and Waitrose St Albans, just next door, which opened 25th October 1977.
Only seven miles from Watford, in a small parade of shops called Ermine Close (the only shopping facility on the large housing estate), Waitrose and the newsagents next door were the first to open.
Built on a slope, Waitrose St Albans was set up so that the shop was on the ground level, at the front of building with the loading bay at the back; the goods handling facilities and dining room etc being downstairs.
The unit occupied by the Waitrose wine shop was to have been let separately, so the wine shop had its own delivery area and store room directly behind the selling area. The whole branch has a selling space of 12,500 sq ft.
Opening day saw a queue of people waiting for the branch to open and by mid-morning the shop was crowded; a lull at lunchtime was followed by a steady flow of customers in the afternoon.
Facilities available at Waitrose St Albans include fresh fish, cheese, delicatessen, patisserie, meat and bakery counters.
Address: 1 Ermine Close, Mayne Avenue, St Albans, Hertfordshire, AL3 4JZ