Long has it been a bone of contention that the neighbouring West Kent towns of Sevenoaks and Tonbridge – and even the small town of Edenbridge – have Waitrose stores, but Tunbridge Wells has been left out in the cold.
Despite high-profile campaigns to build one at both the Vale Road site and at multiple sites within the town centre hopes for a Waitrose store in Tunbridge Wells have repeatedly been dashed.
However, the people can finally rejoice, for Waitrose is coming to Tunbridge Wells.
The new Waitrose, which is not a large supermarket but in fact a Little Waitrose Store, will open this week at the Shell garage site on the a26 (St John’s Road). The petrol station, where I used to stop to fill up my car on the way home from work, has been closed since January for demolition and redevelopment and now has a confirmed opening date of 17th August.
When re-opened the store, which will be open 24 hours a day 7 days a week, will boast an extra Costa machine, twelve extra chillers for fresh food and a freezer as well as new garage pumps, toilets and an extra ATM.
It may not be a full-sized store, but the Little Waitrose will have a great range of about 600 products on their shelves.
This will include Waitrose-branded fresh meat and vegetables, ready meals, snacks, drinks and personal care products and will hopefully satisfy the residents who’ve been calling out for essential Waitrose halloumi and avocados.
If you aren’t sure what to have for dinner then you can pop in to browse as you drive past, as there are now an additional 8 parking spaces.
There will be fresh flowers to purchase and of course a selection of wines and other alcohol; in fact there will be a 24 hour alcohol license attached to the store.
The grand opening of the new Little Waitrose at the Shell garage in St Johns will take place at 9.30am on Friday 17th August.
There will be a ribbon-cutting, attended by The Mayor of Tunbridge Wells, Councillor Len Horwood and Shell Retail Alliance Strategy Manager, Ed Hall.
To celebrate the opening, the first 1,000 customers who make a purchase in the new store will receive a free Waitrose-branded hessian bag.
Ed Hall, Shell UK Alliance and Strategy Manager, said: “We’re pleased to announce the re-opening of Shell St Johns. Working with Waitrose, we are bringing an updated and expanded store to our customers in Tunbridge Wells. The service station now offers a great range of products for customers, whatever they need – whether that be grabbing a coffee or quick snack during a rest stop, or picking up groceries for tonight’s dinner.”
What do you think of the idea of a new Little Waitrose in Tunbridge Wells?
Will it satisfy the residents?
Will you call in? Let me know in the comments!
This post was written in collaboration with Waitrose.