John Lewis targets Ashford for new 'at home' store
John Lewis has announced plans to open a John Lewis at home store in Ashford. The retailer will invest £7 million in the development and proposals for the new store which is expected to open in autumn 2012.
The store will be a new build, extending over two floors with the ground and first floor selling areas totalling 40,000 sq ft. The plans include a customer café and around 200 car parking spaces.
Selling furniture, furnishing accessories, electrical and home technology, the store will also allow customers to access and order a wider John Lewis assortment from johnlewis.com. Customer online ordering points will be located throughout the shop and customers will also be able to use the free John Lewis Click and Collect service.
Andy Street, managing director, John Lewis, said: “We believe the opening of a John Lewis at home in Ashford will offer customers in the town and the surrounding areas a broader, more convenient shopping offer. Ashford is an ambitious town with a positive attitude to high quality development and we look forward to becoming part of the Ashford story."
He added: “Our plans to open in Ashford will also help realise our ambition to have more than ten ‘at home’ shops by the end of 2012 and we look forward to providing shoppers with greater convenience and ease of access to our inspiring products, great value and exceptional service.”
The John Lewis at home concept launched in Poole in October 2009 and shops in Croydon, Swindon and Tunbridge Wells followed suit in 2010. The retailer has already announced plans to open ‘at home’ shops in Chester and Tamworth this autumn and in Newbury by spring 2012.
Tim Harrison, head of format development, commented: “At John Lewis we are committed to the communities in which we operate and through the recruitment of 160 Partners local to Ashford, our aim will be to fully integrate and be part of the local community. Ashford is an ideal fit for us in terms of both location and catchment and we hope our unique offering will be a welcome addition to Ashford and surrounding areas.”
Proposals to open an ‘at home’ in Ashford will take the number of John Lewis shops in Kent to three. The retailer has been an anchor tenant in the Bluewater shopping centre since 1999 and John Lewis at home Tunbridge Wells opened last year.
A public consultation on the plans to open the store will be held in Ashford on 1 July.
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