Department store group John Lewis has today announced plans for a new store in it’s ‘at home’ format, in the Kent town of Ashford.
The £7 million proposal estimates that the construction of the John Lewis at home outlet, situated at a new site just off junction nine of the M20, could be completed by autumn 2012 if approval is granted.
Around 160 new jobs will be created at the store which will extend to two floors with a combined selling area of 40,000 sq ft.
Andy Street, Managing Director of John Lewis, said: “We believe the opening of a John Lewis at home in Ashford will offer customers in the town and the surrounding areas a broader, more convenient shopping offer.
“Ashford is an ambitious town with a positive attitude to high quality development and we look forward to becoming part of the Ashford story.
“Our plans to open in Ashford will also help realise our ambition to have more than ten at home shops by the end of 2012 and we look forward to providing shoppers with greater convenience and ease of access to our inspiring products, great value and exceptional service.”
The first at home store was opened in Poole in October 2009 and John Lewis has since launched the format in Croydon, Swindon and Tunbridge Wells, with others in Chester, Tamworth and Newbury to follow over the next 12 months.
At home stores exclusively sell homewares and garden items from the John Lewis range and are smaller in size than the traditional department stores.
On July 1st & 2nd 2011 a public consultation will be held at the lobby of the Waitrose store in Repton Park where locals can ask question about the proposed development, but its seems that the partnership has already secured support from members of the local council.
Peter Wood, Leader of Ashford Borough Council, said: “The plans are at an early stage but this is potentially exciting news for the people of Ashford and the whole of East Kent.
“The arrival of a John Lewis at home would complement the town’s existing retail offer while significantly enhancing the choices for shoppers, and should the plans be approved, provides further evidence of Ashford’s growing reputation as the place to invest.”