John Lewis to close Southsea store
The John Lewis & Partners department store chain is to close its Knight & Lee shop in Southsea this July.
Spanning 35,000 square feet, the shop is the retailer’s smallest full line store in its estate.
John Lewis gave a number of reasons for the decision, including the store’s size, age and condition and the fact that it would need a significant financial investment if it was to be modernised. The retailer also said that it had taken advantage of a "unique commercial" opportunity to sell the freehold of the building.
The closure means that all 127 of the shop’s staff are at risk of redundancy although John Lewis said it will make every effort to redeploy affected staff in John Lewis and Waitrose shops in the surrounding area.
Dino Rocos, John Lewis operations director, said: ”We have not taken this decision lightly and we considered every implication for our partners, customers and the community. However, a unique combination of factors, including the significant investment required and the opportunity to sell the property freehold, makes this the right decision for the financial sustainability of our business.”
Following the closure, the retailer will serve local customers through its Southampton and Chichester shops and will offer an improved click and collect service at Waitrose in Southsea.
As part of plans to increase productivity, the John Lewis Partnership has also announced that it will be restructuring its maintenance function by moving the majority of activity and service provision to CBRE. The news follows an 18-month review of the function and will see 365 John Lewis maintenance staff move to the new provider.
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