Questions about the future of John Lewis in Sheffield answered as bosses don't rule out opening a smaller store in city

John Lewis bosses have said they will now discuss ‘the proposal for closure’ at its Sheffield store with its 299 staff – and did not rule out opening a smaller city store.

By Sam Ward
Monday, 29th March 2021, 1:45 pm

The director of John Lewis blamed the ‘irreversible impact’ of the pandemic on the closure of its iconic former Cole Brothers store in Sheffield and that the trend of online shopping ‘will not materially reverse’.

Last week’s Sheffield store closure announcement sparked a city-wide outcry, with more than 20,000 shoppers signing a petition calling for the decision to be reversed.

John Lewis has now said that they will discuss the proposal for closure in consultation with the Sheffield ‘partner’ staff at the store, of which there are 299.

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John Lewis has not ruled out opening a smaller store in Sheffield

They have stated that partners will have the opportunity to challenge and scrutinise the reasoning and financial case in order to test this and to help everyone understand the rationale for the closure.

It has also been reported that John Lewis may look at opening a smaller store in Sheffield with a reduced range of products.

John Lewis has now responded to the petition, and the claim that they may open a smaller store, stating that the plans are in ‘early stages’.

A spokesman from John Lewis said: “We are incredibly grateful for the support our shop has received - the strength of feeling, combined with the heritage of our shop in the city, underlines what a difficult decision proposing to close has been.

“Our plans for smaller format shops remain in the early stages and no locations are confirmed.

"While we would be open to discussing potential sites in the future, our John Lewis Sheffield shop is a proposed closure so it would not be appropriate to comment further at this time.”