John Lewis sets sights on York for new store

John Lewis today announced plans to open a new 100,000sq ft department store in York as early as autumn 2013.
The outlet, which will be in the city’s new Monks Cross development, will be the second of the retailer’s new “flexible format” stores, the first of which is due to open in Exeter next year.

The flexible department store concept provides John Lewis with another option for showcasing a range of its products in locations throughout the country, with shops averaging 65,000 to 100,000sq ft. On average, John Lewis major department stores have a selling space of 132,000sq ft, while the At Home shops come in at around 40,000sq ft.

Revealing its plans for the new format in July, the company said it had identified at least 10 locations across the UK that could support the new type of stores.

Commenting on the decision to open in York, head of format development Tim Harrison said: “These new smaller department stores allow us to open in places we’ve wanted to trade in for years. Our local customers have been travelling to our regional stores at Sheffield and Newcastle, and the new shop in Monks Cross will plug the gap in that regional offer.

“We’ve long wanted to have a presence in York but haven’t been able to find a site or retail-led scheme which we felt was viable and deliverable within our timescales.”

John Lewis plans to invest more than £15m in the York shop, which will create around 300 new jobs and offer homewares, fashion and consumer electronics. The retailer says it will also be designed to maximise the opportunity for multi-channel shopping.

John Lewis is on track to open five shops in 2012, including John Lewis at Home shops in Newbury and Chichester plus the flexible format department store in Exeter. Its latest At Home opened last month in Tamworth.

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