Leader of Wandsworth Council Ravi Govindia has opened the new Waitrose store at Embassy Gardens, Nine Elms.
The 18,000 sq. ft. store takes the retailer to over a hundred outlets within Greater London as the supermarket continues to increase its presence in the capital. Waitrose has already opened new shops this year in King’s Cross and West Kensington as well as doubling the size of its Bayswater branch.
The Nine Elms store saw Waitrose become the first national supermarket in the UK to offer sushi, which will be freshly made in its shops. The new sushi counter will be launched in co-operation with Sushi Daily, the European market leader in sushi bars and counters.
Fresh meat and fish service counters, a bakery with an eat-in area, an extensive wine department and a 138 space carpark underneath the branch are available to shoppers. Customers also have access to services including ‘scan as you shop’, Waitrose Quick Check, and John Lewis click and collect. Orders can be placed online too, via in-store iPads.
Occupying the ground floor of Embassy Gardens’ Ambassador Building the store is part of the residential heart of Nine Elms on the South Bank. Embassy Gardens is a Ballymore development comprising nearly 2,000 new homes, this first phase welcomed its first residents in the summer of this year and the second phase – which includes the world famous Sky Pool – launched for sale in the autumn. The development wraps around the new US and Dutch embassies and includes a section of a new linear park which will weave from Vauxhall to Battersea Power Station.
The store comes with 90 new local jobs, nearly a quarter of which went to unemployed people. These are among the first of the 25,000 new end use jobs being created across Nine Elms on the South Bank. The area, which stretches from Chelsea Bridge to Lambeth Bridge will include two new tube stations on a Northern line extension and is one of the largest regeneration projects in Europe. In total, 6.5 million sq. ft. of commercial space is being created, and the new Waitrose store is one of Nine Elms’ early occupiers.
Councillor Govindia will be joined at the opening by branch manager Ed Caswell, Embassy Gardens development director Peter Halpenny, and representatives from Battersea Dogs & Cats Home - one of three causes the retailer is supporting this month through its Community Matters initiative. London Air Ambulance & St Thomas’ School have also been nominated and will be visiting the store later in the day.
Cllr Ravi Govindia, said:
“I’m delighted to welcome Waitrose to Nine Elms. The new store looks smashing: it comes with 90 new jobs and will be a welcome addition for new residents and the long established communities here in north Battersea. It’s exciting to see more shops, pubs and other attractions opening up across Nine Elms. In recent weeks we’ve welcomed Waitrose, Market Porter, the Nine Elms Tavern, StudioRCA, Loaf and Mondo Brewing Company. More will soon follow as this new part of the South Bank takes shape.”
Ed Caswell, Waitrose branch manager, said:
“We believe these are exciting times for Battersea & Nine Elms. There is a real sense of anticipation about what the area will bring and, while it marks a significant change for many local people, we want to ensure it is a positive one.
“Waitrose opening is a significant milestone both for the Embassy Gardens development and the Nine Elms area more broadly. We are proud to be involved in such a major regeneration project, which will be a catalyst for more new jobs and further investment. The new shop aims to meet modern-day shopping patterns with more technology, new concepts, a broader product range offering greater convenience and a focus on hospitality.”