Booths is wading through more than 400 job applications for 40 roles at its newest store.

The upmarket chain said it had been inundated by applicants after advertising for general assistants for its store in Hesketh Bank, Lancashire, which is due to open in November.

"Four hundred applicants is probably the most we have ever had for the ­recruitment of general ­assistants, even at our larger stores," said Booths senior personnel officer Gaynor Willan.

Booths has now whittled the list down to 130 and will start the interview process soon.