THE Food Warehouse is set to open in Hereford next week, and shoppers can get their hands on £1,000 worth of free vouchers.

The supermarket, run by retail giants Iceland, said up to 25 full and part-time jobs are being created as the shop opens.

And for the first shoppers through the doors when it opens, there is a special treat.

Here's what we know so far about the new shop, set to open in a Holmer Road retail park in Hereford.

What is the Food Warehouse?

Founded in 2014, the Food Warehouse was created to be Iceland's "big brother" – a large bulk-buying destination for shoppers.

Iceland describes the Food Warehouse as a "concept store" and is a relatively new brand with around 130 shops nationwide. Iceland has more than 800 shops in comparison. 

But in 2021 it said it was planning to open a further 30 shops in the UK.

Each is designed to be a large format warehouse store covering between 8,000 and 15,000 sq. ft. of retail space. It has drawn inspiration from Costco's minimalist look and big-name products. 

Ledbury Reporter: The shop is opening in the old Oak Furnitureland unit. Picture: Rob DaviesThe shop is opening in the old Oak Furnitureland unit. Picture: Rob Davies

The company is expanding into retail parks to enable shoppers to mostly get free parking. This will be the case at Salmon Retail Park, Holmer Road, where parking is free.

On its website it said: "Our stores offer a fresh new way to shop.

"Pick up our bigger packs and make big savings on everyday products from brands such as Heinz, Pepsi and Capri-Sun.

"Look out for some of the exclusive partnerships we have across a range of foods by brands including Slimming World and Greggs."

When is it opening?

Signs up at the store in Salmon Retail Park said the store will be opening on Tuesday (March 29) at 8am.

Parking at the retail park, which is also home to B&M, is free.

How do I get the free vouchers?

Advertising the shop's opening, the company said that to celebrate, it has £1,000 worth of vouchers to give away.

The first 100 customers through the doors on Tuesday morning will be handed an envelope with a voucher.

Ledbury Reporter: The shop opens at 8am on Tuesday. Picture: Rob DaviesThe shop opens at 8am on Tuesday. Picture: Rob Davies

That voucher will be between £5 and £100, the company said, and it can be redeemed at the shop between March 29 and April 4.

The voucher will not be for resale and is non-exchangeable and non-refundable.

There is only one voucher per customer, you must be aged over 18 and terms and conditions apply.

Who owns the company? 

The Food Warehouse is owned by the Walker family, who also own Iceland. 

Its managing director is Richard Walker, the son of Iceland's founder and executive chairman Michael Walker.

In an interview with PR Week last year, Michael spoke about having his dad on hand for advice. He told the publication: "My father is our executive chairman.

"He’s still very hands-on and we continue to learn from him every day. Since I became managing director I have taken responsibility for people and stores, as well as being MD of the Food Warehouse, our larger-store-format brand.

"My dad is very keen to give me full autonomy in these areas, but of course he is an unrivalled source of advice, having run the business for close to 50 years."

What items does it sell? 

The retailer sells frozen, fresh and dry produce as well as homeware items. It carries the same lines as Iceland as well as international brands.

It also sells cleaning products, toys, and alcohol.

What will it look like and when will it open?

No pictures have been released of the inside of the new shop so far, but it is expected to be similar to other shops across the UK.

Here's a look at a recently-open The Food Warehouse in Weymouth.

And a look inside a different branch.

Ledbury Reporter: Inside Weymouth's new Food Warehouse. Picture: Dorset Echo

Ledbury Reporter: Inside Weymouth's new Food Warehouse. Picture: Dorset Echo

Ledbury Reporter: Inside Weymouth's new Food Warehouse. Picture: Dorset Echo

And a look inside a different branch.

Will Iceland in Eign Street stay open?

Documents submitted with the planning application said Iceland has "no intention" of closing its existing shop in Eign Street.

Plans said having both brands had been successful in other cities such as Gloucester.

What does it mean for the area?

The same planning documents said the shop would "positively contribute" to the local area through the "retention and creation of jobs", with the unit now vacant after Oak Furnitureland closed.

Dreams and B&M currently occupy the other two units. 

A planning and retail assessment said there was "no viable demand from non-food retailers" at Salmon Retail Park, made up of three units around 1.2km north of Hereford.

Consultants felt there was a "clear threat" that vacant units would make "no positive contribution to the local economy in challenging economic times when job creation is critical" as the coronavirus pandemic ends.

Why did the Food Warehouse pick Holmer Road?

The document added that bosses had considered the Old Market and Maylord shopping centres, but at the time there were no units large enough for their plans.

The consultants said the plans would secure the long-term occupancy of the store, and bring employment opportunities.

It would also strengthen an established retail location, bring investment, improve the local visual amenity through refurbishment and reduce vehicle shopping miles.