John Lewis confirms future of Sheffield store as eight branches won't reopen
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The future of the flagship store, which is part of the Heart of the City II plans for Sheffield city centre, has been uncertain for some time, with the retailer refusing to confirm whether the shop would reopen while others around the country close down amid plans to cut down on physical retail space.
Now John Lewis has said that the Sheffield store, along with eight other large shops, will be back open on July 30.
It will open at the same time as stores in shops in Aberdeen, Ashford, Brent Cross, Chichester, Oxford, Peterborough, Reading,and White City Westfield.
The news of the Sheffield shop reopening comes following Sheffield City Council’s announcement that it would be seeking approval from the cabinet to restructure the lease of the Barker’s Pool store in a way that would support John Lewis’ planned refurbishment of the premises.
The plan, which will go before a meeting of Sheffield Council’s cabinet committee next week, involves the authority buying out John Lewis’ long-term ‘nominal’ lease on its building in Barker’s Pool, entering into a new 20-year agreement for the site with a rent based on turnover, and giving the retailer money towards the cost of revamping the shop.
The good news for Sheffield comes as it was revealed that seven other stores around the UK were to remain closed permanently.
The shops identified for closure include two of the smallest in the estate - travel hub shops at Heathrow and St Pancras, four At Home shops in Croydon, Newbury, Swindon and Tamworth and two full size department stores in Birmingham and Watford.
Approximately 1,300 employees across the eight shops will now enter into consultation.
Prior to the pandemic, the eight shops identified were already financially challenged and the pandemic has accelerated the switch from shopping in-store to online. Before the virus struck, 40 per cent of John Lewis sales were online. This could now be closer to 60 to 70 per cent of total sales this year and next.