John Lewis today signed an agreement with the Westgate Oxford Alliance Partnership, a joint venture between Land Securities Group PLC and the Crown Estate, to deliver a new department store in Oxford.

According to the retailer, the John Lewis department store will extend over three floors, totalling 100,000 sq ft of selling space, and will create 500 new jobs. The plans include a customer cafe, a Place to Eat and a dedicated customer collection entrance located in the basement of the Westgate Centre’s new car park.

Andy Street, MD, John Lewis, says: “Oxford has long been a sought-after location for us, and we’re delighted to be able to expand our reach to customers across the region for the first time, providing them with more convenient access to our inspiring products and great service. We’re looking forward to becoming part of the local community.”

Richard Akers of the Westgate Oxford Alliance says: “We are delighted that John Lewis is anchoring our new development adjoining the Westgate Centre, which we own jointly with the Crown Estate. This is an exciting project and this enables us to press ahead with a planning application for the scheme, which will confirm Oxford city centre as one of the leading retail and leisure destinations in the UK.”

Councillor Bob Price, leader of Oxford City Council, says: "We are delighted to welcome John Lewis to Oxford as the anchor tenant of the redeveloped Westgate Centre. This will confirm Oxford as one of the leading retail destinations in the UK and significantly contribute to the long-term vitality and viability of the city centre."

The new flexible format department store in Oxford will have a target opening date of 2017, and will highlight fashion, home and consumer electronics concepts in a contemporary setting. Computer terminals in the branch will allow shoppers to browse the wider John Lewis online offer and order for home delivery or next day collection at the shop.