John Lewis has been given the green light to transform almost half of its flagship Oxford Street store into office space.

The retailer was granted conditional permission for the changes by Westminster City Council’s planning sub-committee last night. 

As first reported by property trade publication Estates Gazette, John Lewis could now turn as much as 302,000 sq ft of the 678,700 sq ft store into flexible retail or office space.

Under the proposals, John Lewis’ retail offer would take up the whole basement level, as well as the majority of the ground, first and second levels.   

But all of the space on floors three to eight could potentially be converted into office space after planning permission was granted for the change of use.

John Lewis also plans to create a new office entrance on the corner of Holles Street and Cavendish Square. 

David Wood, who works in asset optimisation at the John Lewis Partnership, told the committee that the proposals would provide the retailer with “more flexibility to respond to current and future market trends”.

It comes as new chair Dame Sharon White bids to revive the Partnership’s fortunes by ramping up its focus in non-retail areas.

White wants the business to generate 40% of its profits from new areas such as housing provision and financial services by 2030. John Lewis will invest £100m into the latter alone over the next five years as part of ambitious plans to grow the division four-fold. 

The department store chain’s requirements for physical space are also expected to diminish. White believes the group will be a “60-70% online retailer” by 2025, a shift that is likely to leave the chain with excess store space to repurpose.