Department store John Lewis is to begin work on a new £7 million At Home store in Ashford, Kent next week, it has been confirmed today.
Creating around 125 jobs, the 39,000 sq ft two-story store is set to open its doors before the end of the year and follows successful launches in Croydon, Chichester and Swindon among others and will be the tenth At Home format store to open in the UK.
Close to Junction nine of the M20, the unit will also include a cafe though will primarily focus on furniture, home accessories and electricals & home technology.
“We are delighted that work is getting underway to open our doors in Ashford this year,” Managing Director of John Lewis Andy Street said.
“It‘s an ideal fit for us in terms of both location and catchment and we look forward to becoming part of the local community, providing shoppers with access to our inspiring products, great value and exceptional service.”
Completion of the build will see Kent offer a total of three John Lewis stores, with the Ashford store joining the Tunbridge Wells At Home store opened in 2010 and the anchor store at Bluewater shopping centre.
While bricks & mortar expansion remains critical to the retailer‘s growth strategy, it remains focused on building omnichannel opportunities and the Ashford store will therefore incorporate its digital offerings into the space.
Shoppers will be able to access and order products from the John Lewis website, while online ordering points will be placed throughout the store as well as offering customers the chance to use its Click & Collect service.
Such a move is a significant development for the area and Cllr Gerry Clarkson, Acting Leader of Ashford Borough Council, welcomed the news.
“John Lewis is a household name with a strong reputation for quality and will be a real feather in the cap for Ashford.
“They are exactly the type of company we want to attract and this is another sign of growing confidence in the town as a place to invest.
“The arrival of a new at home store will complement the town‘s existing retail offer and provide more shopping choices for our residents.”