Waitrose has started running ‘discovery days’ in a bid to dispel myths about convenience stores and persuade staff to take jobs at its Little Waitrose stores.
The supermarket has to fill more than 10,000 new Little Waitrose jobs by 2020 as it opens about 250 Little Waitrose stores. The discovery days are intended to persuade existing staff to move from bigger stores.
“A lot of staff in the estate think convenience is more full-on more fast-paced and with longer hours,” admitted one store manager. The days will tackle such “misconceptions” by explaining to staff what it is like to work in Little Waitrose stores.
There were a number of advantages to smaller branches, said Jon Arnold, head of convenience at Waitrose. “They offer a more intimate environment and a hands-on approach,” he said.
Waitrose would also use the discovery days to promote career opportunities, Arnold added. “There is a very regimented career path in our core estate this is a way of conveying what else is out there,” he said. He denied Waitrose was struggling to find staff, claiming there were 20 applications on average for each vacancy advertised for Little Waitrose.
Waitrose managing director Mark Price told a Conservative Party conference meeting this week that Waitrose would spend £1bn on opening 100 stores in the next three years, creating 10,000 jobs.