Having written to Waitrose recently on your behalf, I am very pleased to have received this notification from Waitrose today. This is an opportunity for us all to use and show them how it can be profitable.
'As you are aware, we confirmed in March that our Waterlooville shop would be closing in June as we had not been able to find a way to make the shop commercially sustainable in the long-term.
I wanted to let you know that the store we will now remain open until Sunday 6 September to help provide shoppers with the food and essentials they need. All 179 Partners will therefore continue to work at the shop.
We understand we have a responsibility to the community to remain open for as long as possible during this incredibly challenging and unprecedented time.
We are making every effort to ensure a good supply of food for everyone and our Waterlooville Partners continue to do an incredible job in very difficult circumstances to help customers get what they need.
I thought you may also be interested to know about some of the measures our business is taking in an effort to help local people:
- In every shop we have set aside a proportion of hard-to-find and essential products from every delivery for NHS staff. They are available to to collect at any time of day to help work around their shifts.
- NHS staff will also be given priority checkout service through either dedicated checkouts, Partners opening up new tills for them as needed or moving to the front of the queue.
- We have a dedicated shopping hour for the elderly, the vulnerable and those who look after them - this is the first opening hour of the shop.
- A £1m Community Support Fund has been set up by the John Lewis Partnership to help those in need in our local communities.
- The John Lewis Partnership has launched a support fund to aid its Partners who are facing additional costs as a result of the pandemic; such as childcare costs.
- Our Partners are being offered free meals at work.
- We are also working with Age UK, FareShare, the Trussell Trust, Grocery Aid and Retail Trust - donating £75,000 initially to each of the five charities.
In addition, we have introduced new measures to help our customers shop safely and to protect our Partners. These include: limiting customer numbers, introducing ‘safe distance’ floor signage, ‘two-metre marshalls’ to help manage queues, protective screens at checkouts, additional security and encouraging contactless shopping.