Letter: Absurd to throw store away so lightly
Both H J Greaves and Peter Robinson were absolutely right in criticising the council's transport policies and the the lack of investment by John Lewis in its Sheffield store, helping bring about the proposed closure (Sheffield Telegraph, April 1).
Indeed the council also has some role in the lack of investment because it came up with the grandiose scheme for a new store which never seemed realistic. In the meantime JL Sheffield continued to trade profitably, but the profits went to building stores in Leeds, Birmingham and elsewhere. Problems with asbestos, failing lifts and escalators, and the elderly heating system were ignored for too long on the assumption that a new store would be built.
The failure by JL to reopen the Sheffield store and give it a chance to prove its value is an act of cowardice by its top management. The city council should do everything in its power to reverse the decision and press for a nine month reopening through to Christmas. After all there must be plenty of stock in the store that needs selling off rather than being taken elsewhere. JL has built up a reputation based on excellent customer service and it is absurd to throw it away so lightly. If they can't make Sheffield pay then there can't be much future for the whole JL Partnership?
If JL management can't be budged is there any possibility of a management buyout by the local staff aided by the Council?