A LARGE food store in Leek is to change hands next year.
Waitrose, the food shops of the John Lewis Partnership, has announced that it has reached an agreement with The Co-operative Group to acquire its shop on Portland Street North, off Buxton Road in Leek in April 2014.
Waitrose has confirmed that all 65 employees at the shop are set to be offered the opportunity to join Waitrose and become Partners in the John Lewis Partnership.Waitrose is also hoping to create additional jobs at the branch.
As Partners in the John Lewis Partnership they have a stake in the success of the business, a say in how it is run and a share in profits.
The Co-op branch will continue to trade as normal until April 3 next year. It will then close for approximately four weeks while the shop is transformed, before opening as a Waitrose in May 2014.
Waitrose will be launching its Community Matters and Partner Volunteering schemes in Leek, which will see £12,000 and 250 hours donated to local causes nominated by customers each year.
Nigel Keen, Director of Development at Waitrose, said: "We have wanted to open a shop in Leek for a long time and are looking forward to becoming part of the local community next year and welcoming the new employees to Waitrose and the John Lewis Partnership."