Opening marks £35 million investment and retailer’s largest new shop in four years.
John Lewis Birmingham opened its doors to customers for the first time at 10.00am on Thursday, as the anchor tenant of the new Grand Central retail development, located above New Street Station.
At 250,000 sq ft, the £35million regional flagship is one of the largest John Lewis shops in the UK and its arrival has created 650 jobs across Birmingham and the wider region. John Lewis today revealed it received over 10,000 applications – more than 15 applicants per role.
Just before the doors opened, Head of Branch, Lisa Williams addressed the new staff, outlining the importance of opening the business’ first full-line department store in four years. She spoke of her pride in the Birmingham shop being chosen to debut several of the retailer’s new concepts and services, and thanked the Partners for their hard work and dedication in the run up to the opening.
To open the new shop, Lisa Williams cut the ribbon alongside the first three local causes John Lewis Birmingham will support as part of its charitable giving scheme, Community Matters – Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, homelessness charity SIFA Fireside and Birmingham Trees for Life.
The ribbon cut officially welcomed customers to explore the new shop and its 350,000 items across John Lewis’s full fashion, beauty, home and technology ranges. Also unveiled were the retailer’s new fashion and lifestyle concept, loved&found and its first spa, &Beauty.
The very first purchase at John Lewis Birmingham was a racing car and a Tech-tool pen, bought by Anthony Bagga from Leicester as a gift for his nephew .
Andy Street, Managing Director, John Lewis said: “Today sends a clear message that John Lewis is firmly committed to the British High Street and that physical shops remain as important to us as they do to our customers. Birmingham is a city which we have wanted to be a part of for many years and the New Street Station and Grand Central development offered us the perfect opportunity to make this a reality.
“Our new Birmingham regional flagship shop is a bold expression of the very best of John Lewis in 2015 and it is particularly exciting that customers will be able to step directly from New Street Station, into four floors of inspiring fashion, home and technology”.
Lisa Williams, Head of Branch, John Lewis Birmingham added: “Birmingham is a city that has always led the way, so it feels right that Birmingham is home to our most innovative shop to date. My team and I are looking forward to welcoming customers to what is a unique retail space.
“Our recruitment process has been incredibly successful, with unprecedented demand – at one point we were receiving one application every minute. We have built a great team, with our 650 Partners coming from right across the region.Becoming a part of the local community is incredibly important to us and I was delighted to be joined by the three local charities we are supporting to officially open the shop. We are excited to welcome customers for the first time and hope that they will be as delighted in this new shopping experience as we are”.
John Lewis Birmingham is located in the Grand Central retail development, directly above New Street Station. Opening hours for the new shop are 9am-8pm Monday-Saturday, and 11am-5pm Sunday with 10.30am-11am browsing time.