Upmarket supermarket chain Waitrose says that it will create 2,000 jobs through opening new shops and by expanding existing ones across the UK.
The John Lewis-owned grocer said that it will open another 14 stores, including larger supermarkets and small convenience shops, starting in the spring.
Seven of the new locations will be larger supermarkets and the other seven will be convenience sized Little Waitrose shops.
New jobs will also be created following the extension of two existing stores and a new online grocery depot in South London – due to rising demand for online grocery shopping.
Most of the planned expansion will be in south east England.
Little Waitrose in Cheam Village in the London Borough of Sutton
The chain currently has 336 shops and it is one of the UK’s fastest growing supermarkets.
According to data from the market research company Kantar, sales at Waitrose increased by 6.6 per cent over the 12-week Christmas period, increasing its market share to 5.1 per cent.
Waitrose has already opened two stores this month in Egham and Walbrook.
Waitrose director of development, Nigel Keen, said: “Our expansion story continues as we take the brand to more customers.”
“Last year many of our new branches received more than 10 applications for every vacancy - so we’re delighted to be able to create an additional 2,000 roles in 2015.”
Waitrose has performed much better than the big four supermarkets.
Tesco recently confirmed that it is going to shut down 43 supermarkets and has canceled plans for another 49.