NEW research by John Lewis reveals that Yorkshire has more people who would like to shop at the department store than anywhere else in the country.
John Lewis’s managing director Andy Street said that the group’s new store in York, which opens on April 10, and its proposed store in Leeds, which will open in time for Christmas 2016, mark a major commitment to Yorkshire by the retailer.
“The next high point for us will be the opening of the York store in just over a month’s time,” said Mr Street.
“We’ve got more customers in Yorkshire who’d like to shop with us than anywhere else in the country.
“York and Leeds together show a big commitment to Yorkshire.”
At the moment, John Lewis only has one store in the county in Sheffield.
John Lewis in York, which will open at Monks Cross on the edge of the city, will be the chain’s most environmentally friendly shop.
The 95,000 sq ft department store will be the first John Lewis to feature a range of sustainable design elements, including low energy lighting and photovoltaic cells on the roof to generate renewable energy.
The firm estimated that the roof panels will generate 80,000kWh per year, which is enough to power more than 20 houses and should be enough to power the store.
The York store will also feature a wildlife wall, which will provide a roosting home for bats, bird nesting and insect spaces.
At 150,000 sq ft, the Leeds store in the upmarket £150m Victoria Gate scheme, will become John Lewis’s flagship store in Yorkshire.
“It will be the regional flagship, drawing people from across the region,” said Mr Street.
He was speaking yesterday as John Lewis announced that over 90,000 John Lewis and Waitrose staff will receive bonuses worth 15 per cent of salary after the group reported a 10 per cent rise in annual profits.
The John Lewis Partnership, which is owned by its employees, announced a bonus pot of £202.5m. The payout is lower than last year’s 17 per cent due to increased costs to service the group’s £1bn pension fund deficit.