40 jobs still up for grabs at new Kingsway Asda store
FORTY jobs are still up for grabs just a week before Kingsway's new Asda opens.
The supermarket giant opens on Monday at the entrance to the burgeoning estate off Naas Lane.
More than 100 workers have already been taken on. They will man the 25,000 square metre store's tills, stock the shelves and run the cafe.
Richard Cook, 60, from Kingsway, retired from running his own vending machine business back in March, but quickly became bored.
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He said: "Getting a job at the store is perfect for me. It is just down the road so I can walk into work and it will keep me out of mischief."
Fellow worker Louise Green, 39, from Stroud, said: "I already have another job working in a school but this extra work will really help."
Pam Smith, 57, has worked at Gloucester's existing Asda store in Bruton Way for more than 20 years but has transferred to the new store as it is closer to her Kingsway home. She said: "My colleagues are like my family, that's why I love working here.
"Being in the new store means I will get to make lots of new friends."
Nick Bennett, at the age of 22, is one of the store's younger employees but he is already a manager. He said: "I got a part time job with Asda when I was doing my A-levels and in the end decided that university wasn't for me. Six years later I'm still with the company and couldn't be happier.
"Going to university isn't for everyone and we've got jobs going so I would encourage other young people to consider doing the same. I certainly wouldn't look back."
Even the store's general manager, Russ Elkins, is just 26.
He has been on hand in the last few days overseeing 20 people who are working day and night to fill the store's shelves with 20,000 products in time for its 10am opening next Monday.
He said: "It is a big task but we've got a whole team of people working around the clock to fill the shelves.
"I've not been here long and already people are saying what a difference the store is going to make to their lives, so I am excited to be leading that. We can't wait to open."
Behind the scenes, the store has a tiny warehouse for incoming produce, but Russell explained they aim to get everything on the shelves as quickly as possible. He said: "It's no use sitting in the back, we get everything out onto the shop floor."
The store, as is usual for Asda, has appointed a 'community life champion' who will work with the Quedgeley and Kingsway community to organise in-store events to help organisations.
The first such event will be to see Quedgeley Wanderers Football Club play a game of football at the opening.
It will be hoping to attract many of the 3,000 residents of Kingsway and some of the 10,000 Quedgeley people who also have the choice of a giant Tesco store just minutes away.
Mum-of-one Sarah Churchill, 29, from Northwood Drive, said: "Having a supermarket here is going to be great. It is going to give more choice for clothing and food.
"It is also a sign that Kingsway is doing well if the big supermarkets want to flock here.
"I just hope that it doesn't trample on other independent businesses by rocking the boat too much.
"It is good that there are job opportunities too and some of my friends have been given some hours, but quite a few have only been offered three hours a day which isn't really enough."
Mum-of-two Sandy Mitchell, from Boddington Drive, said: "I look forward to it opening. They are great for home things and clothes, especially the school uniforms for the kids.
"But I will probably still do my food shopping in Tesco.
"My only concern is going to be the traffic that it is going to attract so close to the entrance to Kingsway."
County councillor Barry Kirby (L, Grange and Kingsway) said: "The general feeling is positive. It will provide much-needed competition."