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Waitrose is set to open first city store.

Byline: By Phillip Nifield South Wales Echo

Upmarket food chain Waitrose is set to open its first supermarket in Cardiff - in a former DIY store. The company, owned by the John Lewis Partnership, will create up to 200 jobs in the development at the old Focus store at Croescadarn Close, Pontprennau.

Its arrival this summer will mark the end of years of searching by Waitrose for a site in Cardiff. It has previously looked at developing at the Cardiff International Sports Village while plans for a store at Heath also failed to materialise.

There are currently Waitrose supermarkets in South Wales at Monmouth and Barry and Abergavenny, where they took over two former Safeway stores.

A spokeswoman for Waitrose said: "We have submitted plans to extend the former Focus DIY store at Croescadarn Close, Pontprennau into a 24,500 sq ft Waitrose food shop.

"This will allow us to add to the quality and choice of foods available in Cardiff as well as add to the vibrancy of the area. The store would create 180 to 200 jobs for people who would become partners in our business, as all employees of the John Lewis Partnership are known. Our aim is to open the new food shop in summer 2008, subject to planning consent."

Cardiff's city centre manager, Paul Williams, said: "Waitrose will extend the choice to shoppers and that has to be good news. It is a quality brand and will undoubtedly be very successful."

Waitrose's roots date back to 1904 when Wallace Waite, Arthur Rose and David Taylor opened their first grocery shop. The John Lewis Partnership acquired the business in 1937, opening the first Waitrose supermarket in 1955. It now has 185 branches. The John Lewis department store, which will be the anchor for the St David's 2 retail scheme and opens in autumn 2009, will include a food hall - only the second for the partnership.
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jan 9, 2008
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