John Lewis to anchor Chelmsford development

British department store John Lewis has confirmed that it will anchor the second phase of the Bond Street retail development in Chelmsford with the opening of its third ‘flexible department store’.

The new store, which could be open as early as autumn 2014, will mark the brand’s first store in Essex and will follow the opening of the retailer’s new flexible format stores in Exeter this year and in York in 2013. As part of the project, John Lewis will be investing 15 million Pounds in the development, which is expected to boost local employment with the creation of 350 new jobs.

The store will be part of the 300,000 square foot development, owned by Aquila, which will also include 20 retail units, providing a mix of shops, river fronted restaurants and a cinema.

Andy Street, managing director, John Lewis, said: “John Lewis Chelmsford will be our first shop in Essex. The Bond Street development in the city centre is a great fit for us and we look forward to bringing a flagship shop to Chelmsford.

“John Lewis Chelmsford will be our third flexible department store. We're excited to see the roll out of this new format really starting to gather pace as we expand our reach to customers across the UK, providing them with more convenient access to our inspiring products and great service.”

Tony Chambers, Aquila's Chairman, added: “Planning consent was granted for our previous scheme in September last year. We have since been working with John Lewis to redesign the scheme in order to accommodate their 119,000 sq ft 'flexible format' department store and have now submitted a revised planning application. We are very excited by this development which is much needed to serve Chelmsford's affluent and growing catchment.”

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