Gifts Today magazine

Smart Home for John Lewis Edinburgh

Concept is at the heart of £24m redevelopment of John Lewis store

John Lewis has revealed that the investment in upgrades to its Edinburgh store will top £24 million as the group looks to make the most of the Edinburgh St James Centre redevelopment. Opening later this month, the refurbishments to the 160,000 sq ft store include an additional shopping floor, a new cafe and a new technology product area.

Barry Blamire, head of branch at John Lewis Edinburgh, told The Herald it was one of the biggest upgrades the shop has seen in its 43 years, calling it 'an incredibly exciting moment in our history.

'There will be significant changes. It’s a big sum of money,' he says.

John Lewis will open a new shopping floor on level five of the shop – which was previously offices. This will include The Place to Eat, a new cafe offering a views over the city.

The move comes after John Lewis threatened to quit the Capital when the extent of the disruption caused by the centre’s redevelopment became apparent, before striking a deal with landlord TH Real Estate.

'For us, the option of staying put and redeveloping was the best option,' says Mr Blamire. “While there is a level of disruption, which we can’t deny, customers are delighted we stayed put.'

Mr Blaire declined to comment on how much sales have fallen while the St James Centre is closed, but confirmed the drop in footfall and sales were in line with expectations. On the new shopping floor, the retailer will introduce its Smart Home concept which brings together connected gadgets and tech into one space.

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