John Lewis moved into Essex for the first time ever yesterday (Thursday September 29), with the opening of a branch in the town of Chelmsford.
The shop, which represents an investment of £18m, employs 300 staff.
Part of Chelmsford’s new £150m Bond Street development, the department store includes 90,000sq ft of selling space over three floors and stocks over 65,000 products.
The outlet has the largest beauty hall of all John Lewis’ small full-line department stores at 7,900sq ft, with 14 premium beauty counters including M.A.C, Charlotte Tilbury and Nars.
Chelmsford will also feature fashion brands including Ralph Lauren, Whistles, Finery and John Lewis’ new own-brand luxury womenswear label, ‘modern rarity’.
The store offers several John Lewis services including a Kuoni travel concession, its Home Design Service and a new Bar:Cafe concept from Benugo, allowing customers to enjoy a glass of prosecco straight from a tap or Benugo’s signature coffee while they shop.
The interior design pays homage to the city’s heritage as the birthplace of radio. Various references, including On Air signs and microphones, are on display throughout the shop.
John Lewis Chelmsford branch manager Laura Rawstron said: “We’re delighted to open the doors to our first shop in Essex. It’s one of our most modern shops to date and brings together the very best of John Lewis’ products and services.
“Together with the Bond Street development, this John Lewis shop will create a new retail and leisure offer that ensures Chelmsford has something for everyone.”
John Lewis operates 47 John Lewis shops across the UK (33 department stores, 12 John Lewis ‘at home’ stores and shops at St Pancras International and Heathrow Terminal 2) as well as johnlewis.com.