John Lewis has revealed plans to open another smaller format department store, in York.
The news follows the department store’s plans to open its first smaller store in Exeter, in autumn 2012, as revealed by Retail Week.
The retailer will invest more than £15m in the new shop, which it said will boost local employment with the creation of around 300 new jobs.
John Lewis’ flexible department store concept will range from 65,000 to 100,000 sq ft. This compares with an average size of 132,000 sq ft.
The York store will sell fashion, home and consumer electronics “in an inspiring and contemporary retail setting”. The stores are designed to “maximise the opportunity for multi channel shopping whilst ensuring customers have access to a comprehensive John Lewis assortment in the shop,” said the retailer.
John Lewis managing director Andy Street said: “There is a huge potential, and a clear demand from customers, for John Lewis to expand into more key locations in the UK. Our new format shops allow us to forge ahead with our growth plans to introduce John Lewis branches and our full-line assortment to cities and towns like York.”
Street said John Lewis is “still committed to opening more regional full line shops”. “We are committed to continuing to invest in ‘bricks and mortar’, particularly as we know that new shops stimulate our brand presence and online sales,” he added.
John Lewis head of format development Tim Harrison said: “These new smaller department stores allow us to open in places we’ve wanted to trade in for years.
“Our local customers have been travelling to our regional stores at Sheffield and Newcastle, and the new shop in Monks Cross will plug the gap in that regional offer.
We have long wanted to have a presence in York but have not been able to find a site or retail-led scheme which we felt was viable and deliverable within our timescales.
John Lewis will open five shops in 2012, including John Lewis at home shops in Newbury and Chichester plus the first flexible format department store in Exeter, sized 70,000 sq ft.
The retailer is represented by property agents Cushman & Wakefield and Ashworths Chartered Surveyors.