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12 February 2014, 07:32 | Updated: 12 February 2014, 07:36
More than 900 people have applied for 75 jobs at the new Waitrose store in Locks Heath, which is due to open in spring this year.
The window for applications closed last week after the jobs were first advertised at the end of December 2013. Waitrose has received an overwhelming 919 applications for the new roles, which include full and part-time positions across all departments. With a policy to recruit as locally as possible, the retailer has worked with Jobcentre Plus to put forward candidates, including unemployed people.
The interview process will start within the next week with all new employees becoming Partners in the Waitrose business, entitling them to exclusive benefits, including shopping and leisure discounts, leisure and learning subsidies and a share in profits in the form of an annual bonus.
Last year saw existing Partners receive 17% of their annual wage in bonus, the equivalent of approximately nine weeks wage, representing a significant re-distribution of profits back into the areas in which the supermarket trades.
Jo Williamson, branch manager at the new Waitrose in Locks Heath, said: "We have had a phenomenal response to our recruitment drive and are really encouraged by the calibre of applications we've received. We are grateful that so many people are eager to work for our business and look forward to a successful future at the Locks Heath store."
Waitrose announced that it will be opening the new branch after acquiring the Co-op store in the Locks Heath Shopping Village in November 2013. A total of 200 Partners will be employed by Waitrose Locks Heath, including 120 former Co-op employees.