Jul 30, 2020

Your chance to live in a John Lewis store...sort of

John Lewis is planning to turn retail space it no longer needs into affordable housing as part of a strategic review of the partnership. John Lewis chairwoman Dame Sharon White said the pandemic has sped up the shift to online shopping and the business will become "Digital first". John Lewis, which also owns the Waitrose supermarket chain, recently announced plans to close eight of its 50 department stores. In a letter to staff - who are known as partners - Dame Sharon said she expects John Lewis department stores to generate 60% of its business from online compared to the pre-coronavirus outbreak level of 40%. She said Waitrose's online business will "Rise above 20%, from 5%". Dame Sharon said it will reflect the way that customers, especially younger people, are shopping "With the pandemic accelerating the importance of digital". A spokeswoman for John Lewis & Partners said it was too early to give details on how excess store space will be used for private and affordable housing.

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