John Lewis Newbury to close
John Lewis Newbury is to close.
The sad news that the Parkway store will not reopen was announced this morning.
The shops identified for closure include two of the smallest in the estate - travel hub shops 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. Approximately 1,300 Partners across the eight shops will now enter into consultation.
Prior to the pandemic, the eight shops identified were already financially challenged and the pandemic has accelerated the switch from shopping in-store to online. Before the virus struck, 40 percent of John Lewis sales were online. This could now be closer to 60 to 70 percent of total sales this year and next.
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.”
When the store was going through the planning process West Berkshire Council claimed: "It is considered that the positive impact on the local economy of having a large luxury end department store such as John Lewis ‘at home’ within the town centre, would outweigh the loss of this area of public open space."
Adding: "The proposed John Lewis ‘at home’ store will bring many benefits to the town centre including increased footfall to the town centre, ‘claw back’ of expenditure which is leaking to other large towns such as Reading and Basingstoke and linked trips by shoppers to other stores within the town centre."