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John Lewis to open 10 new format city centre stores

John Lewis has announced plans to open ten smaller stores in city centre locations over the next five years.

The new 65,000 sq ft to 100,000 sq ft stores will offer a full John Lewis range tailored for individual locations and will follow a flexible concept that will sit between the retailer's major department and stores and the smaller ‘at home shops.

Crucially, it will enable the retailer to consider opening in locations that had not previously been seen to be suitable for a large traditional John Lewis branch.

The first new format store will open in Exeter with a focus on fashion, homewares and consumer electronics. John Lewis said that the store’s flexible concept would also be designed to maximise the opportunity for multi channel shopping.

Andy Street, managing director John Lewis said: “There is a huge potential, and a clear demand from customers, for John Lewis to expand into more key locations in the UK. This new flexible approach to the size of our shops allows us to forge ahead with our growth plans to introduce John Lewis branches and our full-line assortment to cities and towns where we have long wanted to have a presence.”

Street continued: “The introduction of new, flexible format branches is in addition to our 'at home' format and we aspire to have ten of these open by the end of 2012. Only recently we announced that we had plans to build an 'at home' in Ashford, Kent, to be open in autumn next year. We also remain focussed on pushing forward with our plans to open more full line department stores in new regions across the UK.”

The new format stores are expected to create around 3,000 jobs.

Source : The Retail Bulletin

22 July 2011
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