John Lewis Sheffield: End of an era as sign is taken down from Barkers Pool store

It was the end of an era in Sheffield city centre today as the last letters of the John Lewis sign were taken down.

Thursday, 25th November 2021, 11:26 am
Updated Thursday, 25th November 2021, 11:26 am

Workers have been abseiling off the store by Barkers Pools yesterday and today (November 25) to remove the iconic branding from the city skyline. The sign over the entrance way had already been removed weeks ago.

The ailing department store shut its door for good in August after the decision was reportedly taken to close down at the start of the third national lockdown in January.

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Workcrews abseiled off of the roof of the store in Barkers Pool to remove the last letters of the John Lewis sign from Sheffield's skyline.

John Lewis had been part of Sheffield since the 1940s when it took over the historic Cole Brothers department store.

John Lewis Partnership announced the closure despite having signed a new lease with Sheffield City Council in August last year intended to keep it in the city centre - paying a peppercorn rent - for at least the next 20 years.

This itself followed almost 20 years of negotiations over its place in a series of redevelopment plans.

The sign was lowered to ground level before it was carried away by work crews.

Now, the last letters of branding have been hauled away by workers.

It was one of eight stores nationally axed by the firm’s chairman, Sharon White, who called the closures a ‘last resort’.

"Making an announcement like this is always difficult and closing a shop is always a last resort,” she continued.

"Prior to the pandemic we believed we would still have a future in these locations.

The John Lewis store by Barkers Pool closed down permanently in August after the decision was reportedly taken at the start of the third national lockdown.

"However, the effects of the pandemic, including three successive lockdowns and the acceleration of the switch to online shopping mean we can no longer profitably sustain a John Lewis store in some locations, which is resulting in the proposed closures announced today.

"Given the significant shift to online shopping in recent years – and our belief that this trend will not materially reverse – we do not think the performance of these eight shops can be substantially reversed.”

The empty store is only a few hundred yards from the empty Debenhams department store on The Moor, which also closed down after the retailer went into liquidation last December.

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