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newcooperativestorefreshwaterA total of 40 new jobs are set to be created on the Isle of Wight with the opening of a brand new Co-Operative store in Freshwater early next year.

The new store, which is currently being built on Afton Road in the town, will be The Southern Co-operative’s largest store across its entire estate in the South of England.

The 40 new colleague roles will be in addition to the current team from the existing Freshwater store, which will close with the opening of the new flagship store.

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As well as a much bigger and improved product range, improvements at the new store will include a larger bakery offer, a self service deli with entirely locally sourced meats and fish, a greater range of fresh vegetables and fruit and fine wines with a sommelier station to offer tastings, an increased range of ‘free from’ foods to cater for special dietary needs, a coffee area as well as a Post Office and ATM.

A significant increase in the variety of local food and drink on offer will see over 40 Isle of Wight producers now supplying the store’s Local Flavours range, consolidating The Southern Co-operative’s commitment to support for local producers on the Island. The number of parking spaces will double compared to the existing store, and will include an electric vehicle charging point.

Paula Hunt, Head of HR Operations at The Southern Co-operative said:

“Colleagues are our greatest asset here at The Southern Co-operative and we are looking for 40 people who have a positive outlook and who share our values to join our business. As a co-operative, we have always had a purpose beyond profit; being actively involved in and supporting the communities where we trade in order to make a positive difference.” Paula

added: “Successful applicants will join us from late January to undergo training in time for the new store opening early next year. The Southern Co-operative is a successful independent business which continues to grow year on year, so new colleagues will have opportunities and a real chance to get involved and grow with the business.”

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The Southern Co-operative is holding a recruitment event on Friday 28th November 11:00-19:00 and Saturday 29th November 10:00-16:00 at West Wight Youth and Community Centre. Applicants are invited to attend at any time during either day to complete an application form and have an interview. Application forms are also available to download at prior to attendance if desired.

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