Witney (142): Opening

“Efficient, modern supermarketing” is the way Marek Effendowicz, from the Partnership’s in-house magazine, The Gazette, described the brand new Witney branch.

Almost doubling the size of the old store, Witney’s opening on September 16th 1986, blends into the domestic and commercial architecture of the ancient market town.

The rough dressed stone cladding was selected with great care. Quarried locally, the Guiting Cotswold stone, is a creamy colour that changes to a stunning gold in the late summer sunset.

Every detail of this branch has been thought through to compliment the area and its history. Even down to the car park, that has been landscaped with trees, flower beds and Cotswold stone walls.

From the closing of Witney branch 131 on September 13th 1986, it was just three days before the new Witney branch 142 opened. Therefore building work was being undertaken whilst the store was open.

Stocking around 100 different types of fresh fish set Witney Waitrose apart, as the only other place to purchase fresh fish, at the time, was a stall at the Thursday open market.

With 270 full and part time partners, the Partners’ Dining Room needed to be a substantial size. It is partly lit by the barrel vault windows and partly from the floor to ceiling glass that overlooks the atrium. This feature rises from the ground floor wine department like a two-storey lantern at one corner of the shop.

Facilities available at this branch include: Click & Collect, flower wrapping and dry cleaning. As well as fresh fish, cheese, delicatessen, sushi and meat counters.

Address: Witan Way Woolgate, 25, Witney OX28 6AR

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