Waitrose will be coming to Sidcup and could be open for business by the end of August. The food retailer confirmed their decision to James Brokenshire who says the news is a huge boost for the High Street and recognition of the strength of community support.
Almost exactly a year ago Waitrose decided to put proposals for a Sidcup store on hold following a review of the firm's business plans prompting fears that the retailer might pull out altogether. This led to the launch of the 'We Want Waitrose' campaign backed by Bexley Council with the support of James Brokenshire, Sidcup Councillors and Mayor of London Boris Johnson. Thousands of local residents signed a petition urging the retailer to change its mind.
Following further detailed work, the Waitrose board have now given the go ahead to the Sidcup shop. The retailer is finalising its opening schedule and will be recruiting up to 70 new staff. Waitrose expect to start trading from their new branch on Sidcup High Street within the next three months and make a positive contribution to the town for many years to come.
Commenting, James Brokenshire said:
"This is absolutely fantastic news for Sidcup after the concerted campaigning of so many people. The Sidcup Waitrose will give a big boost to the High Street and create welcome new jobs. We never gave up on efforts to persuade Waitrose to come to Sidcup and I'm delighted that they listened to that message and will be opening their doors soon. We wanted Waitrose and now we've got them!"
Leader of Bexley Council, Councillor Teresa O'Neill said:
“I'm delighted that the Waitrose Board listened to the Council & local residents & are coming to our High Street very soon. Their presence will be a welcome boost to the work we have all been doing to rejuvenate the area and we know that, once the shop is open, local residents will prove to Waitrose why they were so keen for them to come!”
Waitrose Director of Development, Nigel Keen said:
"We have always remained keen to open in Sidcup and having worked hard to develop our convenience model for a store of this size in the last year, we are delighted that we are now in a position to open within the next three months. We are grateful to everyone who welcomed our original plans and look forward to becoming part of the Sidcup community."