Waitrose, a British supermarket chain, is expanding its retail presence in the UK by opening 26 stores across the country in 2014.

The move by the supermarket chain is to continue its recent growth phase, which saw it open over 100 of its 302 store branches in the last five years.

The new stores include 15 supermarkets and 11 small Waitrose convenience shops, which will add nearly 350,000ft² of retail space for the company and will create around 2,000 new jobs.

Some of the supermarkets will be opened in Teignmouth, Edenbridge, Keynsham, Locks Heath, Sherborne, Hove, Leek, Swindon, Hereford, Egham, Malmesbury and Chester areas.

Additionally, the new convenience shops will be opened in East Putney and West Hampstead.

The rest of the locations will be confirmed throughout the year.

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By GlobalData

Waitrose development director Nigel Keen said their growth story continues as they take the brand to more customers and invest in their omni-channel approach.

"During 2012 many of our new branches received than more than 10 applications for every vacancy – so we’re delighted to be able to create an additional 2,000 roles," Keen added.

"As part of the recruitment process, we will be continuing to set aside apprentice roles for those who have little or no experience of the working world."

Back in September 2013, Waitrose announced creation of 500 jobs after the opening of a second e-commerce grocery depot in Coulsdon, South London, in autumn 2014.

Image: Waitrose to open 26 stores in the UK. Photo courtesy of Waitrose.