John Lewis has announced it will open a branch of the new style store boosting local employment with the creation of around 160 new jobs.
The retailer will invest £7 million in the at home concept that will focus exclusively on furniture, furnishing accessories, electrical and home technology. The store will cover 59,000 sq ft at at the Mannington Retail Park on Great Western Way, West Swindon and is scheduled to open during the autumn.
The new ‘at home’ shop in Swindon follows the successful opening of John Lewis at home in Poole last October, pictured above. John Lewis at home shop concepts are also scheduled to open in Croydon and Tunbridge Wells later this year.
Andy Street, managing director, John Lewis, said, “we’re excited to be bringing a John Lewis at home shop to the Mannington Retail Park which is a great fit for us in terms of location and catchment. We are taking on the lease of a building that has stood empty for the past few years and we look forward to giving local people a new reason to visit the retail park.”
The new format has been developed in direct response to customer requests for greater convenience and ease of access, particularly from those living more than a 40 minute drive time from an existing John Lewis department store. Currently customers have to travel to Cribbs Causeway in Bristol, or Reading, to shop at a store, although its online offer at www.johnlewispartnership.co.uk has become extremely popular.
Head of format development, Tim Harrison commented, “John Lewis at home in Poole has proven that a smaller format works and has been very well received by customers for its convenience and ease. We look forward to providing Swindon shoppers with our exceptional service, inspiring products and great value.”
Computer terminals in the branch will allow shoppers to browse a wider John Lewis assortment including fashion, beauty, nursery, carpets and order for home delivery or next day collection at the shop. The shop will also feature a café.
Toothill councillor Steve Wakefield said he welcomed the John Lewis plan. “This is a mark of confidence in Swindon; it’s a good news story.”
John Lewis will continue to operate its home furnishing and seconds unit at the Swindon Designer Outlet.