John Lewis reveals plans to open Brighton department store

Posted On 09 Oct 2015 at 12:00 am

It’s finally happened. After years of speculation, hope and dubious rumours, John Lewis has finally announced plans to open in Brighton.

The Horsham John Lewis store

The reality began to take real shape in March when the firm bought the North Street building currently home to Boots, by the Clock Tower.

And today, John Lewis makes public its plans for a department store ahead of submitting a planning application next year.

And what of Boots? Unsubstantiated sources suggest it may have its eyes on the soon to be vacated H&M unit in Churchill Square – but as the planning process is likely to take many months, only time will tell.

The company said: “John Lewis today announced it will start to engage with the local community around plans for a potential department store in Brighton before submitting a planning application to Brighton and Hove Council.

“The retailer acquired 129-133 North Street, Brighton, in December 2014. If plans are approved, the new shop would provide in the region of 250 new jobs.

Andrew Mills, acquisitions and development manager at John Lewis, said: “We have held a long-term ambition to have a presence in Brighton. Although a shop opening is a long way off, over the coming months we intend to work closely with local retail, business and community organisations in the city as we develop more detailed proposals.

“We hope to submit a planning application in the first half of 2016.

“John Lewis Brighton would likely offer an edited selection of its fashion, beauty, home, electrical and consumer electronics goods and services to Brighton, while computer terminals would enable shoppers to browse the wider John Lewis assortment online.”

Council leader Warren Morgan said: “I’m really pleased to have been able to work with John Lewis on bringing forward plans for a store in Brighton, something I know residents will welcome and something I think is a huge vote of confidence for the city.

“Shopping in Brighton and Hove is a key economic driver, supporting local jobs and attracting visitors so a new store opening of this calibre will help raise the profile of our vibrant retail sector and serve as a flagship addition to the region’s retail draw.”

  1. Jim Hacker Reply

    Has Clr Morgan ever been to the Horsham John Lewis? It’s tiny. Waste of space. He is selling residents short if he thinks this is going to be like a proper JL store.

    • Gerald Wiley Reply

      I assume you mean the proposed Brighton store will be tiny compared to the size of the Horsham store?

  2. maria brooker Reply

    If only it was true,Brighton, desperately, needs a lovely departmental store,has done for years especially lovely John lewis

    • Gerald Wiley Reply

      True – but we lost the Co-Op in London Road, Hills of Hove and Vokins in Western Road, and Hanningtons in North Street as they couldn’t compete with discount / out-of-town / internet.

      I hope this does come to fruition, as I do find the new Horsham John Lewis / Waitrose combined store fantastic.

      Unfortunately, as I live on the outskirts, I expect I’ll still prefer the new Horsham store with it’s ample free parking, as it’s cheaper and quicker to drive to Horsham than catching the bus into town – and you can load up the car to bring your goods home.

      But I imagine for anyone living in the centre of the city it will be a godsend.

  3. Christopher Hawtree Reply

    Will John Lewis be improving the outside of the building? The east side of Queen’s Road is Desolation Row all the way down from the Station. (This is the road that the previous Labour administration proposed to re-name Ocean Boulevard.) Meanwhile, let us hope for an end to Boots.

    • Gerald Wiley Reply

      @Chrstopher – but didn’t Ian Davey spend loads of our public money improving the road down from the station with seats, trees and bicycle stands?

      Do you know whatever happened to Ian?

      And what is wrong with Boots?

  4. Cherie fay Reply

    I think this is great news I love the shop , I would love to work for them too , at last a decent department store one has been missing since loosing hanningtons

    • James Reply

      Travelled to Horsham last week to visit John Lewis/Waitrose,of course there is no space in the town centre to build a store anywhere near that of their London headquarters but again we are playing catch up with the likes of Chichester and Horsham,the council must arrange early approval of Boots move to ensure John Lewis does not look else where.

  5. Lee Davis Reply

    So excited for this! This is the one store Brighton lacks:)

  6. April tucknott Reply

    Surely they could of acquired the buildings next to b&q and Halford. With parking. There is no parking around that area apart from overpriced car parks. Love John Lewis at bluewater. Could do with big retail units on outskirts. Also building a huge John Lewis in Crawley with plenty of free parking.

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