John Lewis agrees deal to stay in Sheffield until 2040 – and the shop is getting refurbished

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John Lewis has agreed a new 20-year lease to keep its department store in Sheffield city centre – and the deal includes plans for a refurbishment of the shop.

Last month Sheffield Council’s cabinet committee approved proposals to keep the retailer in the city as part of the Heart of the City II redevelopment scheme – allowing the authority to buy out John Lewis’ long-term ‘nominal’ lease on its building in Barker’s Pool, enter into a new contract with a rent based on turnover, and give the retailer money towards the cost of a revamp.

Now the fresh lease, which will run to 2040, has been agreed with the employee-owned business. Details of the refurbishment are ‘under review’, the partnership says – work is likely to start in mid-2021 and the former Cole Brothers store will remain open throughout.

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John Lewis has agreed a new 20-year lease to keep its department store in Sheffield city centre, and the deal includes plans for a refurbishment of the shop. Pictured are Councillor Mazher Iqbal, store manager Patrick Duffy, and Mike Norris from Queensberry. Picture: Chris Etchells.John Lewis has agreed a new 20-year lease to keep its department store in Sheffield city centre, and the deal includes plans for a refurbishment of the shop. Pictured are Councillor Mazher Iqbal, store manager Patrick Duffy, and Mike Norris from Queensberry. Picture: Chris Etchells.
John Lewis has agreed a new 20-year lease to keep its department store in Sheffield city centre, and the deal includes plans for a refurbishment of the shop. Pictured are Councillor Mazher Iqbal, store manager Patrick Duffy, and Mike Norris from Queensberry. Picture: Chris Etchells.

Chris Harris, director of property and procurement at the John Lewis Partnership, said: “Shops continue to play a crucial role in our brand story, alongside a strong e-commerce offering. Our focus is on ensuring that we have the right space in the right locations where our customers want to shop.

"We have had a presence in Sheffield for over 70 years and we have a loyal customer base in the city. As such, we are delighted to have agreed a new lease with Sheffield City Council and look forward to continuing to serve our Sheffield customers.”

Coun Mazher Iqbal, the council’s cabinet member for business and investment, said: “Securing John Lewis in the city centre has been one of our key long-term ambitions, so we’re delighted to get a deal done – particularly during a difficult time for the high street on a national scale.

“It is reassuring and exciting to know that one of the country’s leading retail brands has committed to the city. The restructured lease will help safeguard a significant number of jobs and retains the famous Cole Brothers building as its rightful use – a department store.”

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John Lewis in Barker's Pool, Sheffield. Picture: John Lewis Partnership.John Lewis in Barker's Pool, Sheffield. Picture: John Lewis Partnership.
John Lewis in Barker's Pool, Sheffield. Picture: John Lewis Partnership.

The Barker’s Pool store opened in 1963. It traded until 2002 as Cole Brothers, which started on Fargate in 1847 – John Lewis acquired that site in 1940 from Selfridge Provincial Stores.

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