Sainsbury’s manager hopes store is positive influence

The ribbon was cut at Sainsbury’s by the Mayor as Ottery shoppers got their first taste of the town’s new supermarket.

Glyn Dobson was on hand to cut the ribbon on the Hind Street store with manager Warren Knight on Wednesday morning.

Mr Knight said at the opening: “Today is a big day for us and for the town, and one we have all been looking forward to for some time.”

He said he hopes the opening will stop people going to Honiton or Exeter to do their shopping, and instead stay in Ottery St Mary, which could have a knock-on effect in the town’s independent shops.

The 22,000 square foot superstore is open until from 8 am to 8pm Monday to Saturday, and 10am to 4pm on Sundays.

It has a number of eco-features, such as sun pipes, rain water harvesting, and a bee hotel to help sustain the local bee population.

Out of 162 total employees at Sainsbury’s Ottery St Mary, the store has created 143 new jobs, with Mr Knight confirming around 60 live in the town, and many more from surrounding villages.

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The manager himself lives in Exeter and has worked as a store manager for eight years, and spent the last two in Newton Abbot, but says he is relishing the opportunity to lead the new outlet in Ottery.

He said the opening was ‘a long time coming’ and on the disruption the construction of the shop created for the town and the impact on local shops, he added: “In my experience at other new stores, after the initial anxiety it usually settles down, and there’s a positive impact on the town.”

The new expanded car park at Hind Street will have 116 spaces, with two hours free parking.

Mr Knight added: “I’d like to say a big thank you to all the residents and traders of Ottery for their patience throughout the construction period and to everyone who supported Sainsbury’s during the planning process.

“We are extremely proud to be a part of Ottery’s wonderful community and really hope to be a positive force in the area.”