Department store John Lewis is to invest £32m in an “extensive” refurbishment programme across four shops in the next two years, including its flagship on London’s Oxford Street.
A further £25m will be invested across the rest of the retailer’s 39 shops before 2014.
The retailer will spend £8m on the Oxford Street store this year, and will conduct a “full upgrade of the lower ground floor creating a home dining, entertaining, and gifting emporium”.
Work will take place between May and October this year. Debenhams is also revamping its Oxford Street flagship this year, transforming its exterior by using an over-cladding system that aims to create a ‘Kinetic Façade’, which will move in response to the wind. Works are rescheduled to be finished by November.
John Lewis will make its biggest investment this year in its High Wycombe store. The retailer will plough £16m into converting 35,000 sq ft of back office space, which will increase the selling area by a third and extend the product offer by introducing full fashion, nursery and childrenswear departments. The beauty and audio visual departments will also be extended.
John Lewis’s Kingston store will benefit from a £7m revamp of its ground floor while Nottingham will receive £1m of funds to refresh its first and third floors this year.
Andy Street, managing director of John Lewis said: “Investing in our shops is crucial to ensure we continue to provide powerful and compelling destinations for our customers to visit.
“These upgrades reinforce our commitment to the high street, where we believe it is essential to constantly innovate and evolve.
“We want our shops to stand as vibrant beacons of what successful bricks and mortar retailing can bring to our towns and cities, complementing a rapidly growing online business rather than being replaced by it.”
All four shops will all remain open throughout the works.