MULTI-MILLION pound plans for a Waitrose store in Corstorphine have been released.
The company’s third branch in the Capital will be based on the corner of St John’s Road and Manse Road and replace several empty retail units.
The move is expected to create 150 jobs.
The proposal is still in the early stages, with developer Realis Estates organising meetings with community groups and councillors while an “extensive programme of community consultation” is planned.
If it is given the green light by the council, it will also offer free customer parking, match prices against Tesco and contribute £12,000 annually to local charities and not-for-profit organisations through its Community Matters scheme.
Waitrose and Realis will soon be submitting a pre-application notice to the council.
Martin Gorman, development manager for Waitrose, said the company hoped the store would “widen shopping choice in the area”.
He said: “We believe St John’s Road is an ideal location for a new Waitrose, complementing existing shops and helping to bring new shoppers into the high street.”
Conservative councillor for the Corstorphine and Murrayfield ward, Jeremy Balfour, said: “I think in principle this is a very good news story for Corstorphine and I think it will help redevelop the shopping area within Corstorphine.
“I think it will bring jobs and a boost to the local economy but I think the one thing we have to be careful of is making sure we get the transport links right and that’s one thing I will be making sure planning take into consideration.”
Waitrose has two stores, one in Comely Bank and the other in Morningside. Both have already brought a significant boost to those areas.
Director of Edinburgh Napier Business School, Graham Birse, said the upmarket retailer has flourished despite the downturn.
“What’s interesting about Waitrose in the course of the past five to six years since the banking crisis and the recession that followed is that we would have expected premium food retailers like Waitrose to perhaps have taken a dip in their fortunes but that has not happened,” he explained.
“We have seen at the one end of the spectrum the rise in the German companies such as Lidl and Aldi, which seem to have squeezed into the profit margins of the big retailers, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Asda.
“At the other end of the scale, Waitrose seems to have continued to do well and that suggests the customer base is loyal and likes the quality and service Waitrose provide them.
“It has proved successful in Comely Bank and Morningside so why not Corstorphine?”