Published on 12 - February - 2010
John Lewis 'at home' to open in CroydonDepartment store chain's second new format store will open its doors this autumn.
The new 'at home' branch will be a third of the size of a tyipcal John Lewis department store
John Lewis has invested £7.5m in the new 'at home' format store, which will span 52,000 sq ft and measure a third of the size of a typical John Lewis department store.
The shop, the second of the new format stores, will be situated on Croydon's Purley Way and follows the successful opening of the first John Lewis at home in Poole last October.
The company said that it remains committed to its long-term plan to open a department store in Croydon's town centre and that the 'at home' outlet, which focuses exclusively on the home sector, including electrical and home technology, will provide a stepping stone.
John Lewis managing director Andy Street said: "Our shop in Poole has performed above expectations since day one, and has given us the confidence to open in Croydon, extend our reach and attract new customers.
He added: "We've identified 30-50 locations which would be suitable for the John Lewis at home format and a decision on this roll out will be taken in March. In the meantime, the opportunity arose recently to lease an empty unit on Purley Way in Croydon, which met new format location criteria. We're delighted to be able to bring another John Lewis at home shop to fruition this year."
The new Croydon branch will feature fashion, beauty, nursery, carpets ranges, as well as a café and home design service. The store, which will be situated at the southern end of Purley Way, in a site owned by Tesco, will create 220 jobs.
Head of format development Tim Harrison said: "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. The Poole branch was completed in just five months, which is the fastest we've ever delivered a new shop. This short period of time demonstrates that John Lewis has the ability to move at pace with our 'at home' format."
According to the company, 59% of UK households currently live within a 40-minute drive of a John Lewis department store, with research showing that customers want the convenience of being able to shop at a John Lewis that is close to them.
The department store chain's home figures for the week to February 6 were up 35% on last year, with a "double-digit advance from every major buying area". Electricals and home technology was also up 18.6%, with small electrical reporting a 24% boost and large electrical up 28%.
John Lewis director of selling operations, region A, Nat Wakeley commented: "With week one nicely in the bag we must hope that some of the forecast snow showers do not materialize and that we continue to bring fresh new stock quickly through the supply chain to excite and delight our customers, as spring hopefully soon approaches."
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