John Lewis to close Knight & Lee & Partners property

24 January 2019 (Last Updated January 24th, 2019 16:08)

Department store company John Lewis & Partners is planning to close Knight & Lee & Partners business in Southsea, UK, in July.

John Lewis to close Knight & Lee & Partners property
John Lewis & Partners will restructure stores, distribution network and head offices. Credit: James Petts.

Department store company John Lewis & Partners is planning to close Knight & Lee & Partners business in Southsea, UK, in July.

The closure will put all 127 store partners at risk of redundancy.

The retailer said that property’s physical condition restricts the customer offer. Factors such as the need to make a significant investment to modernise it have driven the company to make this decision.

This move is part of the company’s strategy update and plan to prioritise differentiation announced last year.

The retailer is also reviewing its estate to make sure that its stores are in the right locations to attract customers and deliver financial returns.

“A unique combination of factors, including the significant investment required and the opportunity to sell the property freehold, makes this the right decision for the financial sustainability of our business.”

John Lewis isn’t currently planning other closures and is in the process of making efforts to offer jobs to affected associates across John Lewis and Waitrose shops in the surrounding area.

John Lewis & Partners operations director Dino Rocos said: “We have not taken this decision lightly and we considered every implication for our partners, customers and the community.

“However, a unique combination of factors, including the significant investment required and the opportunity to sell the property freehold, makes this the right decision for the financial sustainability of our business.

“We also want to bring the very best of what John Lewis & Partners has to offer to all of our customers and, in Southsea, we believe we can better serve them through our Southampton and Chichester shops, and online with an improved Click & Collect offer at Waitrose & Partners Southsea.”

The company is also planning to restructure its maintenance function by transferring the majority of activity and service provision to a single provider, CBRE.

This move will cover all John Lewis & Partners and Waitrose & Partners shops, distribution network and head offices.