Waitrose celebrated Employee Ownership day on July 4th, an event organised by the Department of Business Innovation and Skills. This event is being held as part of a wider initiative to raise awareness to the benefits of being a co-owned business for employees. "Waitrose is the only major supermarket not to be owned by external shareholders, and along with other MPs, I was invited to visit the local branch on July 4th. They had a picnic lunch in the partners dining room,and also a Great Partnership Day Andover Bakeoff, where partners baked something sweet or savory and the winner decided by a blind tasting session."
Sir George unveiled a board to mark the day, which coincided with 125th anniversary of the founding of the partnership. "I was told that turnover at Waitrose in the Chantry Centre increased by 30% during the week, following the closure of the Tesco Metro." Waitrose were able to respond to the challenge by putting staff on the tills and are now redesigning the store to make better use of the space that they have available.