John Lewis today opened its new £35m Birmingham shop, signalling the business' commitment to the British high street and the importance of investing in physical shops as part of its growth strategy.
Anchor tenant of the city's new Grand Central retail development, John Lewis Birmingham is the retailer's largest shop to open in four years and one of the biggest John Lewis department stores in the UK.
The 250,000 sq ft shop has created 650 new jobs across Birmingham and the wider region with the business having committed to reaching the local long-term and youth unemployed in its recruitment process. The retailer today revealed it received over 10,000 applications for the new jobs – more than 15 applicants per role.
John Lewis Birmingham is the retailer's most innovative shop to date, having been chosen to debut several brand new services and concepts, including fashion and lifestyle concept loved&found, and the first John Lewis-branded spa, &Beauty. These form part of the business' ambition to expand the services and experiences within its shops and its commitment to investing in shops as part of an omnichannel approach.
Andy Street, John Lewis MD, says: "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 adds: "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.