‘John Lewis is knowingly underselling itself by closing even more stores’

John Lewis

It is hard to believe it was only seven years ago that John Lewis was splashing hundreds of millions of pounds on 20 new department store openings.

The launch of flagship sites in Leeds, Westfield London and Birmingham were part of former boss Andy Street’s plans to establish genuinely nationwide, multichannel coverage for the high street stalwart.

At that point, John Lewis already operated around 40 stores. Street’s planned expansion would have increased its portfolio by almost 50% to a little more than 60 sites.

“We’re lucky that we only have 40 shops in great places,” Street said in an interview with the London Evening Standard back in December 2013. “We still have big catchments that we are not serving. As economic growth returns, we can spread our wings.”

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