John Lewis is to open a department store in Birmingham restarting its store expansion strategy after developers jettisoned plans during the recession.
The £100m development project includes the construction of the full line John Lewis department store on the south side of the redeveloped New Street station, creating 900 jobs, including 650 jobs at the department store. The project will also include the upgrade of the Pallasades Shopping Centre.
John Lewis, which has 28 department stores, last opened a full line department store in September 2009 in a 280,000 sq ft space in Cardiff’s St David’s centre. It will also anchor Westfield’s mall in Stratford, east London, when it opens in September.
John Lewis has played down reports that it is to open a store in Westfield London, the developer’s West London shopping centre.
To offset the impact of mothballed property developments, John Lewis has opened small standalone home stores and now has four at home locations but is set to open larger department stores in locations such as Leeds and Oxford.
John Lewis managing director Andy Street said: “Together with a progressive city council and Network Rail, we are pleased to play our part in the regeneration of Birmingham city centre. We will deliver a landmark, long-term investment and quality job creation. Our optimum growth strategy includes opening full-line department stores in strategic locations, ‘at home’ shops and online expansion including our international delivery.”