Mutley pub to be turned into Plymouth's first Sainsbury's Local convenience store
SUPERMARKET giant Sainsbury's will open its first Plymouth convenience store in a former pub next week creating 23 jobs.
The retail giant has spent the past six months converting the shell of what was once the Mutley Crown into a 2,200sq ft Sainsbury's Local branch.
It will open the Mutley Plain store on Friday, March 1, inviting children from two nearby pre-school groups to do the honours.
The chain was keen on the location because it wanted to tap into the large student population living in the Mutley area, with the Sainsbury's Local brand particularly focused on ready meals and other products designed for people on-the-go.
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Since the first Sainsbury's Local began trading in Hammersmith, London, in 1998, more than 300 have opened nationwide as the chain takes on rivals such as Tesco Express and small Co-operative food stores.
A Sainsbury's spokesperson told The Herald the chain is looking for other opportunities to open smaller convenience branches in Plymouth.
Debra Owen, who has been taken on by the supermarket as a customer service assistant, said: "I can really see myself progressing within the company, and have found them very encouraging.
"I'm looking forward to starting in the new store and providing great service to the people of Mutley."
Sainsbury's has organised a Fairtrade colouring competition for children at Toadhall and Honeyschute Pre-schools.
The winning four children will get to cut the ribbon and open the new store as their prize.
Bosses say the store is looking to build strong links with the neighbouring community and it will be supporting Mutley Greenbank Trust Charity this year.
The chain aims to help children and youths "integrate" with the community by supporting improvements in facilities.
Matt Pugh, manager of the new store, said: "We are looking forward to opening the first Sainsbury's Local in Plymouth and have had some very positive feedback already.
"We are proud to have created 23 jobs in the area."