The Canary Wharf branch of Waitrose has reopened after the supermarket chain spent £15m refurbishing the store.
The London branch has been expanded to 74,000 sq ft and is Waitrose’s largest store. An additional 150 jobs have been created by the expansion.
Planning for the supermarket’s largest ever refurbishment began a year ago, while hard-hat operations got underway in May. Despite the complexity of the project at the Canary Wharf branch, which first opened in 2002, the supermarket was only closed to customers for four days.
Mark Price, Waitrose’s managing director, said: “This is our biggest ever investment in an existing branch, and we’re excited about the changes we’ve made.
“The branch won awards when it was built nearly 10 years ago, and this transformation will underline its status as our flagship shop and as a major shopping destination in its own right,” said Price. “We’re confident it will be an inspirational shopping experience for our customers, and we’re especially pleased that the refurbishment will allow us to bring another 150 Partners into our business.”
The re-opened store is the first to be branded Waitrose Food, Fashion & Home and it will stock high quality food and drink from Waitrose, alongside eateries, homeware, fashion, furnishings and beauty products targeted at customers in Canary Wharf.
Many of the 80,000 customers that use the branch every week commute to work at Canary Wharf and it has the highest turnover of any of the supermarket’s branches. Some 90,000 people are currently employed at Canary Wharf, but this is expected to rise to 120,000 in the next two years.
Waitrose said it has considered the aesthetics of the refurbished store, with all three floors designed to complement and blend in together to create an attractive space. Flooring, lighting and signage have all been tailored to ensure shoppers can find what they are looking for easily, while enjoying a pleasant ambience.
A new refrigeration system at the branch is expected to reduce gas leakage from the units by 100 per cent, contributing to an overall drop of 58 per cent in the store’s carbon footprint.
The branch has also added a new canal-side entrance that it expects up to 5,000 customers to use every day. Waitrose’s Canary Wharf store is open 7am to 9pm Monday to Friday, from 8am to 8pm on Saturday and noon to 6pm on Sunday.