Waitrose is creating close to 2, 000 jobs in new stores as well as existing ones, ending the first month of the year with a bang.

Waitrose director of development Nigel Keen said: "Our expansion story continues as we take the brand to more customers and invest in our omni-channel approach.

"Last year 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 in 2015."

Most of the jobs would be spread over new and existing shops as well as in a new e-commerce grocery depot in south London that is being built to accommodate the demands of increasing online grocery shopping.

Waitrose announced opening of 14 new stores this year, out of which half will be smaller convenience outlets that are expected to come up in Heathfield, East Sussex and a further six locations yet to be announced in the south east.

The year has already seen opening of two new Waitrose supermarkets at Egham in Surrey and Walbrook in London, reports BBC.

Most of the expansion announced by Waitrose is centered around south east England.

Ayr and Corstorphine are tipped to be two locations for the new stores as well as Wollaton, Nottinghamshire; Bagshot and Guildford, Surrey; and Oxford, King’s Cross which will also incorporate a new cookery school, says Daily Record.

The publication further adds that Scotland will also get a new Waitrose supermarket in Milngavie. The chain currently has six stores in Scotland: Morningside and Comely Bank, Edinburgh; Byres Road, and Newton Mearns, Glasgow; and outlets in Stirling and Helensburgh.

The announcement came at a time when other major retailers are scaling back expansion plans amid stiff competition from discounters as Aldi and Lidl.

Tesco recently announced closure of 43 unprofitable stores and cancelled 49 large stores. Morrissons announced 10 store closures, while Sainsbury’s shelved plans for new store openings.

The chain recently posted 2.8% rise in same store sales over the five weeks to January 3 over the key Christmas period, outperforming rivals as Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Morrissons.

Waitrose overall has 336 shops in England, Scotland, Wales and the Channel Islands.