John Lewis’ 260,000 sq ft Stratford City store has opened.

The department store’s 260,000 sq ft, four storey shop is one of the complex’s main anchors.

The £35m Stratford store is the retailer’s only full-line shop to debut this year and is its first store to open in the capital for 20 years.

John Lewis managing director Andy Street said the store will offer “the latest, greatest assortment in the UK”.

Street told staff the opening of the Stratford store was the “culmination of seven years of planning” and added the focus now would shift to the customer. “From now on it’s all about welcoming our customers. If they don’t like what they see, nothing else matters.”

80% of the staff at John Lewis Stratford have never worked at the company before, and 25% of those were long unemployed people from the local area.