John Lewis has announced details of a £24 million investment and refurbishment of its 160,000 sq ft Edinburgh shop.
The investment is funding improvements throughout the shop including a new, additional shopping floor, a new cafe and a new tech product area. The investment is also financing a reconfiguration of the shop, to make it easier to shop while the rest of the St James Centre, of which it is the anchor store, is being redeveloped.
Work at the shop began last year, with the installation of a new entrance on Leith Street with new lifts, and a new customer collections area for click & collect services. Parking spaces were also created outside the shop. Earlier this year a new gift, stationery and candle shop opened at the main entrance on the ground floor.
At the end of this month most of the changes will be complete and John Lewis will open a completely new shopping floor on level five of the shop – which has never before been open to customers. A new, The Place to Eat with a fresh, contemporary décor will be located on the new fifth floor offering a stunning new view of the city.
On the new shopping floor, the retailer will also introduce its new Smart Home concept which brings together connected gadgets and tech into one space enabling customers to experience what it’s like to have a fully connected home. John Lewis Edinburgh will be the first of the retailer’s shops in Scotland to offer a Smart Home area. Alongside the Smart Home concept, a new electrical department will be unveiled, which will include a photography station with one of the widest ranges of cameras and accessories in the capital.
The Beauty department is being given a makeover, and moved to a new, more central location on the second floor to make it easier for customers to shop their favourite brands.
In August the changes will conclude with the opening of a new furniture department on the fourth floor, alongside the new lighting department and picture gallery. The new shop layout will remain until the shops prepares to be re-connected to the redeveloped St James Centre ahead of its scheduled opening in 2020.
Barry Blamire, head of branch at John Lewis Edinburgh, comments: ‘This is one of the biggest refurbishments the shop has seen in its 43 years and an incredibly exciting moment in our history.
“As the retail landscape changes, we adapt and evolve our shops to ensure we continue to meet our customers’ needs and expectations. This major investment will give customers more interactive shopping experiences while retaining the same excellent level of service from our partners.”
He adds: “We’re working through the night to ensure there is minimum impact on our customers and would like to thank our loyal customers for their patience as the shop is transformed. We look forward to unveiling our new look shop and exciting new additions.”