John Lewis faces furious backlash after telling Sheffield customers to shop at Leeds store

Angry customers have branded John Lewis ‘callous’ and deluded for telling customers in Sheffield to shop at its Leeds branch.

Thursday, 25th March 2021, 11:36 am

The retailer announced yesterday that its Sheffield branch was closing permanently, just months after signing a £3.4 million deal with Sheffield Council to stay in the city centre.

It said it could no longer ‘profitably sustain’ the Sheffield department store, which is one of eight branches across the country the firm will not be reopening after lockdown.

For many, the blow was exacerbated by John Lewis telling customers they could still shop at its Leeds store, nearly 40 miles away, as well as using its home delivery or Click & Collect services.

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John Lewis in Sheffield city centre is set to close permanently
John Lewis in Sheffield city centre is set to close permanently

Numerous people have taken to social media to call this advice a further kick in the teeth, with some vowing to boycott the firm when shopping online as a result.

Sean Jones tweeted: “Bought a new oven from John Lewis in January. That will be my last purchase from John Lewis. Advising the people of Sheffield that you have a great store in Leeds, after closing the Sheffield store, is not great PR. It only shows your callous attitude to the people of Sheffield.”

Another Twitter user, @JG69912519, wrote: “Sheffield Council even did a deal to help you, JL. I've been a v loyal store customer for 30 years. This decision will not encourage me to spend in JL online or Leeds. Atkinsons in Sheffield will be rubbing their hands with glee at this.”

Also on Twitter, @Stuartc42Stuart wrote: “Closing the Sheffield store, which you agreed a deal with the council to keep open, and saying it is unastainable to run, is a joke. This store was busier than the one in Leeds as I've been in both. So I won't be buying anything from you again in store or online big mistake.”

@GazzamatazzZ commented: “After the way you have treated Sheffield, do not count on my custom.”

@joffrey581 asked: “Why the hell would we want to drive up a crowded motorway to Leeds FGS when we have a store 10 minutes from home. Unbelievable lack of understanding how much JL is part of the Sheffield centre, as good as dead.”

@Savvy_Catherine wrote: “A reason @JohnLewisRetail opened in Leeds was that Leeds shoppers didn’t go to Sheffield. One of the worst parts of this is an assumption that shoppers will get in their cars and drive 40 miles to an alternative store. It’s not like closing Peter Jones and going to Oxford Street.”

And @Steve_Lyons_ commented: “That is a terrible blow to the Sheffield City Centre. I don’t expect many of their customers to travel to Leeds, or to shop on line. Perhaps they should look again at their customers’ demographic?”

Announcing that its Sheffield branch would not be reopening, John Lewis said: “John Lewis home delivery is still available to customers in Sheffield, offering named or next day delivery, standard 5-day delivery and next day Click & Collect.

“Within driving distance from the shop, customers can collect their John Lewis purchases from two Waitrose Click & Collect points, including Waitrose Sheffield, 22 Co-op Click & Collect points and can shop with us at John Lewis Leeds.”