John Lewis at home to open in Croydon
The retailer will create 220 new jobs and has committed to investing a further £7.5 million in its ‘at home’ format which focuses exclusively on the home sector, including electrical and home technology.
The second shop follows the successful opening of the first John Lewis at home in Poole last October. John Lewis remains committed to its long term plan to open a department store in Croydon town centre and the ‘at home’ shop offers a stepping stone allowing the retailer to build a relationship with customers in Croydon. John Lewis will continue to work closely with the council to encourage the town centre plans to come to fruition.
Andy Street, managing director, John Lewis, said: “Our shop in Poole has performed above expectations since day one, and has given us the confidence to open in Croydon, extend our reach and attract new customers.
“We’ve identified 30-50 locations which would be suitable for the John Lewis at home format and a decision on this roll out will be taken in March. In the meantime, the opportunity arose recently to lease an empty unit on Purley Way in Croydon which met new format location criteria. We’re delighted to be able to bring another John Lewis at home shop to fruition this year.”
Currently 59% of UK households live within a 40 minute drive time of a John Lewis department store and research has shown that customers want the convenience of being able to shop at a John Lewis that is close to them.
Head of format development, Tim Harrison commented: “John Lewis at home in Poole has proven that a smaller format works and has been very well received by customers for its convenience and ease. The Poole branch was completed in just five months, which is the fastest we’ve ever delivered a new shop. This short period of time demonstrates that John Lewis has the ability to move at pace with our ‘at home’ format.”
The Croydon branch will span 52,000 sq ft and is a third of a size of a typical John Lewis department store. John Lewis at home combines the best of the home and electrical home technology assortment in a relaxed and inspiring environment. Customer access terminals in the branch will allow shoppers to browse the full John Lewis assortment including fashion, beauty, nursery, carpets and order for home delivery or collection at the shop. The shop will also feature a cafe, home design service, and purchasing from a Gift List.
John Lewis at home will provide a boost for local employment with the creation of 220 jobs in Croydon, taking the total ‘at home’ created in the past nine months to 370. The shop will be located at the southern end of Purley Way in a site owned by Tesco.
Eoin Dardis, Corporate Affairs Manager for Tesco, said: “We want to see the site on Purley Way brought back into use as quickly as possible for the long term. The creation of jobs and significant investment are key drivers to economic growth. We will be working with the council to ensure that this investment is secured well into the future.”
Cllr Mike Fisher ,Leader, Croydon Borough Council, said: “Over the last few years we have built an excellent working relationship with John Lewis Partnership. Following the opening of Waitrose in our town centre last year, I am delighted that, subject to planning, John Lewis will be opening an ‘at home’ store in the borough. We hope that this will be a stepping stone towards a full line department store opening in our town centre at some point in the future. We particularly welcome the creation of over 200 new jobs with a quality employer to help kick-start our recovery from the recession. ”
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