Refurbishment for Sheffield store

John Lewis Sheffield
John Lewis Sheffield

A department store in Sheffield city centre is to undergo a major £1.3 million refurbishment.

John Lewis has announced extensive work will be carried out to the ground floor of its store in Barker’s Pool.

Sheffield Council has welcomed the plans, which it believes show that John Lewis bosses are committed to the city.

The department store pulled out of a flagship tenancy in the Sevenstone project earlier this year, when the city centre retail scheme stalled.

But the store’s bosses say they remain focused on working with the council on the viability of the city centre.

The refurbishment will see the beauty goods hall extended and refitted with new fixtures and fittings, with new brands also set to be introduced.

The haberdashery department will be moved to the second floor, the toy section will move onto the third floor, and gifts and gift food will move down to the ground floor.

The project is to begin in August and is due to be completed by October.

The store will remain open during the work, and activity is due to be kept to a minimum to avoid disruption for customers.

James Prince, head of branch, said: “Our primary focus is always our customers’ shopping experience and this investment will help to ensure Sheffield shoppers continue to receive the best that John Lewis has to offer.

“Our long term focus remains to work with the council on the viability and vitality of the city centre.”

A new or redeveloped John Lewis store was due to be at the heart of a new retail quarter which was set to transform the area between Pinstone Street, Moorhead and Barker’s Pool.

But delays due to the recession led to the partnership deal with Hammerson falling through.

The council facing criticism for its failure to act after the scheme was scrapped.

Last month the local authority launched a new fund to encourage investors back to the retail quarter.

A new completion date for the quarter has now been set for 2019.

It is hoped work on a 600,000 square-foot retail and leisure quarter somewhere in the city centre will begin next summer.

Nalin Seneviratne, Sheffield Council’s director of capital and major projects, said: “We welcome the refurbishment announced by John Lewis - it certainly demonstrates their commitment to Sheffield’s shoppers while we discuss the details for the new retail quarter in the city centre.”

John Lewis dates back in Sheffield to 1847 when it began life as Cole Brothers.

It was bought by John Lewis in 1940.

It changed its name from Cole Brothers to John Lewis in 2002, though many shoppers still call it Cole’s.