LONDON, 2016-Jan-16 — /EPR Retail News/ — John Lewis has today announced that James Prince will become head of branch at its department store in Leeds, set to open autumn 2016. John Lewis will invest £37 million in the 255,000 sq ft department store, which will be one of the largest outside London.
James will lead the team of 550 Partners (staff) at Leeds, the recruitment of which will begin in the next few months. He is currently head of branch at John Lewis Sheffield, but has lived in Leeds for the past four years. He started his John Lewis career eight years ago as an operations manager at John Lewis Liverpool, and prior to his current role he opened the first John Lewis at home shop in Poole as the Branch Manager.
James has been head of branch at John Lewis Sheffield for the past four years. Over the last two years James has also been Chair of the Sheffield BID Board and will remain in post until a Chair of the newly elected BID Board has been selected.
The retailer will be the anchor tenant of the Victoria Gate development* in Leeds’ Victoria Quarter. The department store frames the scheme and is a major entrance to Leeds’ retail core from the eastern side. Unique to John Lewis Leeds, the striking design of the shop heralds a future architectural classic for the city.
James said: ‘I’m delighted to be taking on this new challenge and look forward to establishing our shop in the centre of Leeds and in the heart of the local community.
‘I have enjoyed my time in Sheffield, particularly working with the team based here who are a credit to the store. I have also valued being involved in city initiatives such as the Sheffield BID.
‘Leeds is my home and I’m incredibly passionate about this city. I can’t wait to recruit a new team of Partners and reveal the shop to our customers in the autumn of 2016.’
John Lewis Leeds will be the third John Lewis to open in Yorkshire. Featuring more than 350,000 products across fashion, home and technology, the shop will be a fantastic addition to Leeds’s retail offer.
Notes to editors
About John Lewis
John Lewis operates 46 John Lewis shops across the UK (32 department stores, 12 John Lewis at home and shops at St Pancras International and Heathrow Terminal 2) as well as johnlewis.com. It is part of the John Lewis Partnership, the UK’s largest example of worker co-ownership and all 30,000 John Lewis staff are Partners in the business. ‘Best Clothing Retailer 2015′, Best Electricals Retailer 2015’ and ‘Best Homewares Retailer 2015’¹, typically stocks more than 350,000 separate lines in its department stores across fashion, home and technology. Johnlewis.com stocks over 280,000 products, and is consistently ranked one of the top online shopping destinations in the UK. John Lewis Insurance offers a range of comprehensive insurance products – home, car, wedding and event, travel and pet insurance and life cover – delivering the values of expertise, trust and customer service expected from the John Lewis brand.
¹ Verdict Consumer Satisfaction Awards 2015
About Victoria Gate
Work started in April 2014 on the new £150 million Victoria Gate retail development, which is due to open in late 2016. The development will house one of the largest John Lewis stores outside of London. The detailed designs also include a casino, a multi-storey car park for up to 800 cars, Victoria Gate arcade with 30 stores, restaurants, cafes and leisure space. The first phase will also deliver up to 1,000 retail and hospitality jobs and up to 1,000 construction employment opportunities on site during the construction phases of the scheme. Project developer, Hammerson, is working with construction contractor Sir Robert McAlpine and key partner Leeds City Council to deliver the scheme.
For further information please contact:
Jack Gorman, Communications Officer, John Lewis
Telephone: 020 7798 3994
SOURCE: John Lewis