Peterborough John Lewis to reopen by the end of the month

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John Lewis has announced that the Peterborough store will re-open on July 30 (Photo: Supplied)

Peterborough's newly renovated John Lewis store will be reopening on July 30, John Lewis Partnership has confirmed.

Fears that John Lewis would close the Peterborough store saw the local MP, Paul Bristow, write to the chairman of the John Lewis Partnership to seek clarity on the company's future in the city.

Today, July 9, the John Lewis Partnership has announced that it will not reopen eight John Lewis stores in order to secure the business's long-term future. The shops to be closed include travel hubs at Heathrow and St Pancras, four At Home shops in Croydon, Newbury, Swindon and Tamworth and two full size department stores in Birmingham and Watford.

These eight shops were already financially challenged prior to the pandemic. The switch from in-store to online shopping has been accelerated due to the outbreak, with a prediction that between 60% and 70% of total sales this year and next will be via the internet.

Both John Lewis and Waitrose will continue to invest heavily in e-commerce to reflect this shift. Waitrose has already doubled its online capacity since the beginning of the pandemic. This will grow further, with a third online fulfilment centre set to open, and the continuing expansion of Waitrose Rapid, which allows shoppers to order and receive essential items within two hours. Further investment in the John Lewis website is also planned. 

Sharon White, Chairman of the John Lewis Partnership said: “Closing a shop is always incredibly difficult and today’s announcement will come as very sad news to customers and Partners. However, we believe closures are necessary to help us secure the sustainability of the Partnership - and continue to meet the needs of our customers however and wherever they want to shop. Redundancies are always an absolute last resort and we will do everything we can to keep as many Partners as possible within our business.

“There are many reasons to be optimistic about the Partnership’s future. Waitrose and John Lewis are two of the UK’s most loved and trusted brands and we have adapted to the challenges of the pandemic by responding to the new needs of customers. We will soon announce the output of our strategic review which will ensure our brands stay relevant for future generations of customers.” 

It is intended that a £1 million Community Investment Fund will be provided and shared between the communities to support local projects.