An overwhelming number of people have applied to work at the soon-to-arrive John Lewis at home and Waitrose stores in Basingstoke.

Work began last summer on premises that will be co-inhabited by the two stores at Basing View. The stores will open this autumn, with a specific date yet to be announced.

The John Lewis store will be the closest for many shoppers in north-east Hampshire and west Surrey, with Reading, Kingston and Southampton previously the closest branches. A similar development opened in Horsham in West Sussex recently.

This week, the businesses announced there had been a huge response to their recruitment drive, with more than 1,200 applications already submitted for the 369 retail roles at the two new shops.

Applications for positions at John Lewis at home have now closed, while recruitment for positions at Waitrose Basingstoke remains open


Commenting on the recruitment process, Rebekah Hawley, personnel growth manager at John Lewis, said: “We’ve been highly impressed with the quality of applicants for the new John Lewis at home.

"We are excited about bringing the next stage of retail growth to the area and central to this change will be our new partners."

John Lewis at home and Waitrose Basingstoke is only the third co-located development in the history of the John Lewis Partnership.

The new 44,000sq-ft John Lewis will be the retailer’s largest 'at home' store to date and represents a £6m investment in Basingstoke by the retailer.

The 'at home' shop will sit together with a 25,000sq-ft Waitrose supermarket.

John Lewis at home will offer an edited assortment of furniture, furnishing accessories, homeware, electricals, nursery goods and a selection of skincare, selling over two floors.

Waitrose will offer customers a juice bar, a wine and beer bar where customers can also enjoy tapas and deli platters, as well as a bakery cafe.