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Reassurances sought over future of John Lewis’ store in Grand Arcade, Cambridge

Cambridge’s MP has sought reassurances from John Lewis over the future of its city store.

Daniel Zeichner was responding to reports that the retailer may consider closing its Grand Arcade department store.

John Lewis in the Grand Arcade, which accepts the Cambridge BID Love Cambridge gift card
John Lewis in the Grand Arcade, which accepts the Cambridge BID Love Cambridge gift card

John Lewis is believed to be considering the closure of eight stores as it moves to cut its significant property bill.

The Sunday Times reported details of the closures will be worked out following negotiations with landlords, but The Telegraph quoted “industry insiders” who said major stores like the one in Cambridge’s Grand Arcade, and those in Norwich and Liverpool, could be “under threat”.

John Lewis, which has 42 stores nationwide, has declined to comment.

Labour MP Mr Zeichner has written to the partnership chairman, Dame Sharon Michele White, asking her to confirm urgently that the much-loved store will remain open.

He wrote: “John Lewis is a store that is loved by many in the city. We need certainty for your staff, and Cambridge needs John Lewis to continue to trade in our city to help secure future prosperity as we rebuild as lockdown eases.”

The Grand Arcade’s anchor store opened in 2007. But Cambridge’s history with the business goes back much further, as Robert Sayle - which was bought by John Lewis - has a history in the city dating back to 1840.

John Lewis has reported a surge in online sales but has continued to face a burden from its portfolio of large bricks and mortar stores.

The John Lewis Partnership, which also includes the Waitrose supermarket business, revealed plans last year to streamline its headquarters with about 1,500 job cuts.

The move is intended to help the business save around £50 million as part of wider plans to reduce its total costs by £300 million.

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