John Lewis surrenders retail licence for Peterborough


Peterborough's John Lewis has surrendered its licence application

The retailer announced permanent closure of its Queensgate store in March, putting over 300 jobs at risk. 

Staff were informed that it was undergoing a major shift in strategy to adapt to changing shopping habits. 

The closure of John Lewis was seen as a big blow and a major disappointment for both Peterborough shoppers and businesses in the city centre. The store closed following a multi-million refurbishment which only fully reopened in February.

Since the announcement, there have been several attempts to save the store. Former members of staff, current employees and loyal customers expressed their disappointment about the store closing down. Many readers told Peterborough Matters they were saddened by the news, with many suggesting John Lewis was a big reason for their visit to Queensgate. 

Readers also said they were disappointed with the decision especially after the retailer had only just spent more than £20m refurbishing the store. 

City MP Paul Bristow wrote a letter to John Lewis' management appealing for them to revisit their decision to close the store. 

A petition was also launched, which was signed by more than 10,000 people. 

But nearly six months after announcing its permanent closure, the licence for retail was surrendered on Monday (September 20).  This cements the decision of the closure of Peterborough's branch and effectively rules out any hope of John Lewis having a change of heart.

Previously, Peterborough Matters asked John Lewis press officers what the latest state of play was at the premises after one reader wondered why there was still activity and the lights were seen to be left on in the shop. In a response we were told “the store is still just emptying the shelves.” 

In total, John Lewis is closing eight shops around Britain: four At Home stores in Ashford, Basingstoke, Chester and Tunbridge Wells and four department stores in Peterborough, Aberdeen, Sheffield and York.