This is when the final decision on the closure of Sheffield's John Lewis will be made
A final decision on the future of Sheffield’s John Lewis store will be made in June.
A consultation with the historic store’s staff is ongoing after the retailer announced plans to close, to a city-wide outcry.
The employee-owned company also plans to close seven other stores it says it ‘cannot profitably sustain’.
Sheffield Council spent £3.4m buying John Lewis out of its lease and renting the former Cole Brothers building back on a much-reduced rate based on turnover.
Sheffield Central MP Paul Blomfield said of the consultation: “I hope it is a genuine consultation with partners and leads to a reconsideration of what appears to be an ill-judged decision. They should stick with the Sheffield shop, which was successful when they signed the deal last year and could be more successful if they committed to invest.”
A John Lewis spokesman said: “We feel it is inappropriate to discuss the conversation further. Our priority remains supporting our partners through the consultation process.”
Last month, executive director Pippa Wicks was quote d by the Financial Times as saying Sheffield could be home to one of 20 planned ‘smaller format’ stores.
And in response to a letter from Telegraph writer John Scholey, published in this newspaper last month, she said: “In considering the reopening of our Sheffield branch I want to assure you that all possible avenues were explored.
"The proposal not to reopen was a very difficult decision for our executive team, especially given our long history with your city.”