The continuing expansion of supermarket chain Waitrose has gathered further pace with the announcement it has reached an agreement to acquire four London sites from Woolworths.
The firm hopes to attract as many as 200,000 new shoppers to the stores in Chiswick, Clapham, Edgware Road and Islington.
Over the last three years Waitrose has snapped up 43 outlets - often from retail rivals - to take its total of food shops in England, Scotland and Wales to 189.
As part of phased programme to convert the stores and open before Christmas, up to 700 jobs will be created.
Three of the four stores are smaller than the average Waitrose store size of 18,000 sq ft. Edgware Road has 21,000 sq ft of space, with the Chiswick site the smallest of the new additions at 9,000 sq ft.
Waitrose managing director Mark Price said: "These acquisitions will allow us to reach up to 200,000 new shoppers in the capital and will support our ambitious growth plans.
"We are delighted to add these prime locations to our portfolio of shops, particularly as they are sited in our heartland areas where Londoners have been requesting Waitrose branches for many years."
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