John Lewis to launch small store format

John Lewis is to launch a smaller, more “flexible” store format to accelerate growth.

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The department store chain says the new format will give it more reach across the UK by allowing it to open in locations not suitable for a traditional John Lewis store.

The format will offer John Lewis’ full range but the concept has been designed to encourage consumers to take advantage of its multi-channel business through online kiosks and click and collect.

The city centre stores will be around 65,000 to 100,000 sq ft compared to its department stores, which are 132,000 sq ft on average. Its small format Home stores are around 40,000 sq ft.

John Lewis plans to open 10 of the medium sized stores in the UK. The first store will open in Exeter city centre in 2012.

Andy Street, managing director of John Lewis says: “This new flexible approach to the size of our shops allows us to forge ahead with our growth plans to introduce John Lewis branches and our full-line assortment to cities and towns where we have long wanted to have a presence.’

“John Lewis is committed to continuing to invest in ’bricks and mortar’, particularly as we know that new shops stimulate our brand presence and online sales in areas where we trade.”

John Lewis reported a 3.7% increase in sales last week compared to the same week last year, while online sales increased 31%.

John Lewis operates 32 stores in the UK and is the official department store partner of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

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