A new 250,000 sq ft John Lewis department store has today become the first confirmed retailer of the re-development of Birmingham’s New Street train station.
Part of a £100 million project by Birmingham City Council and Network Rail to rejuvenate the retail offering at the site and neighbouring Pallasades shopping centre, the John Lewis store is scheduled to open in 2014 on the south side of the station.
Around 900 new jobs are expected to be created by the development for the wider economy, including 650 at the new store.
Andy Street, Managing Director of John Lewis, commented: “Together with a progressive city council and Network Rail, we are pleased to play our part in the regeneration of Birmingham city centre.
“We will deliver a landmark, long-term investment and quality job creation. Our optimum growth strategy includes opening full-line department stores in strategic locations, ‘at home’ shops and online expansion including our international delivery.
“This project fulfils John Lewis’s longstanding ambition to bring our unique retail and employment offer to Birmingham. Our presence in Birmingham will also enhance competition, choice and quality for the benefit of regional shoppers.”
The high occupancy and poor retail offering at the Pallasades and New Street station sites are exceptions to generally vibrant Birmingham city centre, as recently investigated by Retail Gazette, but with John Lewis anchoring the new plans their future looks much brighter.
Despite a difficult start to the year, trading at John Lewis over the last 12 months has been very strong, and double-digit growth in sales over Christmas demonstrated how the partnership is currently one of the best performing retailers in the sector.
Mike Whitby, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “I am delighted that John Lewis will be joining the Birmingham retail family. We have been working to secure their presence in the city for over two years now, and to see the fruits of our negotiation borne out today is phenomenal.
“Not only will their presence bring 900 new jobs, and create an extra £100 million of investment, it will enhance what is already a spectacular new development of New Street station - and enhance our reputation as a city to do business in.”