Department store John Lewis has committed to investing £57 million in store refurbishments by 2014 which will see a number of stores including its Oxford Street flagship undergo a makeover, it has been announced today.
As part of the programme, an initial £32 million will be invested in four stores in High Wycombe, Kingston and Nottingham as well as the Oxford Street unit, with an additional £25 million to be spent across the group’s 39 store estate by 2014.
“Investing in our shops is crucial to ensure we continue to provide powerful and compelling destinations for our customers to visit,” John Lewis’ Managing Director Andy Street explained.
“These upgrades reinforce our commitment to the high street, where we believe it is essential to constantly innovate and evolve.
“We want our shops to stand as vibrant beacons of what successful bricks and mortar retailing can bring to our towns and cities, complementing a rapidly growing online business rather than being replaced by it.”
Redevelopment of the High Wycombe store will prove most costly, with £16 million invested in pland including a 35,000 sq ft back-office space coverted into a selling area in order to increase the product offer and work is set for completion in October this year.
John Lewis’ Kingston and Nottingham sites will see selling space increase to 7,000 sq ft and 8,000 sq ft respectively with the Kingston site benefiting from a £7 million refurbishment to be completed in October this year while Nottingham’s £1 million investment is set for completion this May.
Meanwhile, the Oxford Street flagship will see £8 million worth of improvement work take place between May and October, with a full upgrade of its lower ground floor in place to create a home dining, entertaining and gifting space.
Managing Director of John Lewis Oxford Street Simon Fowler said of the move, which will see all stores remain open for trading during the upgrades: “The branch is the flagship shop for the John Lewis brand and operates in a unique competitive environment on Oxford Street.
“The multi-million pound overhaul of the lower ground floor is another example of our product range and shopping environment continually evolving to maintain our market-leading proposition.”