John Lewis has today announced plans for a new £15 million department store in York, which would create around 300 new jobs for the region when it opens in 2013.
The 100,000 sq ft outlet at the city’s new Monks Cross development will add to the company’s 29 existing department stores, its soon-to-open Exeter branch and six ‘at home’ concepts already in operation.
Aside from the John Lewis Westfield Stratford City store, which opened in London in September, the retailer has been primarily focusing on developing its at home stores in recent months, with two more of these homeware and electricals dedicated outlets planned for next year.
York, however, is seen as an ideal location to display its range of fashion, home and consumer electronics in a smaller format store, combining a typical bricks and mortar offering with various click & collect facilities.
Back in July, John Lewis revealed that it will be opening a number of these smaller shops with localised product mixes, the first of which will be unveiled in Exeter in 2012.
Each of these new store types will be between 65,000 sq ft and 100,000 sq ft in size, and have a strong focus on encouraging multichannel shopping.
Andy Street, Managing Director of John Lewis, remarked: “There is a huge potential, and a clear demand from customers, for John Lewis to expand into more key locations in the UK.
“Our new format shops allow us to forge ahead with our growth plans to introduce John Lewis branches and our full-line assortment to cities and towns like York.
“We are still committed to opening more regional full-line shops, and would always want to lead in a new region with our flagship offer. But in a city like York, where we already have many loyal customers who know our brand and travel long distances to our shops, the new format provides a much more convenient shopping opportunity.”
Earlier this week John Lewis showed its support of British manufacturing by announcing that it will be developing a ‘Made in the UK’ identifier, which will appear on more than 4,000 products from next year onwards.
Commenting on the move, the retailer’s Head of Brand Development Christine Kasoulis said that customers “are interested in the provenance and sustainability of products”, and expect John Lewis to support other British firms whenever it can.