WAITROSE is to open its first shop in Holsworthy after entering into agreement with the Co-operative for the acquisition of 13 of the company s Somerfield stores. The retailer is planning to create a number* of additional new jobs when it re-launches the

WAITROSE is to open its first shop in Holsworthy after entering into agreement with the Co-operative for the acquisition of 13 of the company's Somerfield stores.The retailer is planning to create a number* of additional new jobs when it re-launches the 12,910 sq ft Somerfield store in Station Yard by mid-June this year.All Somerfield employees will be offered the opportunity to join Waitrose as a Partner within the John Lewis Partnership, which means they become co-owners of the business and receive an annual share in profits. It follows the retailer's national announcement today that it has entered into a conditional agreement with The Co-operative Group to purchase 13 stores arising out of the Group's acquisition of Somerfield. Waitrose will also open at least nine new branches through organic growth in 2009. The 22 confirmed shops will create up to 4,000 new Waitrose employees and will take its estate to 220 stores in the UK. This will offer customers over 200,000ft of additional selling space, an increase of over five per cent to its existing portfolio. Waitrose Managing Director, Mark Price, commented:"We're delighted to be coming to Holsworthy as part of the biggest period of growth in the history of Waitrose. I've been overwhelmed by the number of letters I've received asking for a Waitrose here, demonstrating there is a strong demand for quality food in the area. "We are delighted to be creating a number of new jobs in the town and look forward to welcoming those from Somerfield to share in the unique benefits of the John Lewis Partnership."The acquisition is conditional on regulatory approval and the successful completion of The Co-operative Group's acquisition of Somerfield