Bye bye, thanks for not having us
John Lewis has pulled the plug on opening a store in central Brighton, two years after buying the building it wanted and weeks after its md warned it must reinvent itself.
In March 2015 the chain thought it had had ended a decade long search for a store in Brighton when it bought the North Street branch of Boots in the centre of the city. Last September it launched a consultation with residents before submitting a planning application to redevelop the site with a view to opening in 2018.
No it says the work required is too much and it will sell the site, having secured a new lease with Boots.
‘When the building came up for sale, we took the opportunity to purchase it as we had a long held ambition to have a store in Brighton. Unfortunately, however, after looking into all the detail over the past year, we have explored all options but we cannot deliver a shop on this site with the extent of demolition and construction required,’ said a statement.
In March Paula Nickolds, John Lewis md said the chain needed to reinvent itself.
‘The era of channel [of online or store] is over. What we're really embarking on now is a world, where for consumers, channels are completely merged and we need to think that way. When I'm talking about reinventing the department store, I'm not talking about physical space, I'm talking about the holistic provision of services that a department store can provide. Do I believe in shops? Absolutely. Shops are not just a route to sell things, they are an invitation for customers to experience our brand, and what we stand for.’