Decision by John Lewis to retain its flagship Exeter store welcomed
Published: 24 March 2021
Council Leader Phil Bialyk has welcomed the decision by John Lewis to reopen its store in Exeter city centre next month.
The John Lewis Partnership today announced that it plans to permanently close eight of its 42 John Lewis shops, to reflect how customers want to shop.
John Lewis will open its other UK shops – including Exeter - from 12 April, subject to Government guidance.
Cllr Bialyk said: “I very much welcome that John Lewis has announced that it plans to keep its store in Exeter High Street.
“John Lewis is very important to Exeter and we have worked with them, as we work with all the major retailers, to ensure that everything is in place to welcome back shoppers safely to the city.
“Everyone knows this is a very difficult time for retailers, and we continue to do everything possible to support them.
“The Council has invested heavily in the city centre, with a state-of-the-art new leisure centre and a new bus station opening this summer, because we know how crucial the city centre is to the continued success of Exeter in the years ahead.”
John Lewis said it will enter into consultation with the 1,465 affected Partners about the proposals. The eight shops identified for closure include four ‘At Home’ shops in Ashford, Basingstoke, Chester and Tunbridge Wells and four department stores in Aberdeen, Peterborough, Sheffield and York.
It stressed its department stores remain critical to future success. “They provide a sensory experience that online cannot, supported by the expertise of our Partners,” it said.
“Having fewer bigger stores allows us to invest significantly to improve our remaining ones, showcasing our inspiring products with more space dedicated to experiences and services.
“They will be enticing and exciting places to shop, more reflective of the tastes and interests of local customers.”