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John Lewis announces major investment in Milton Keynes department store


John Lewis announces major investment in Milton Keynes department store


John Lewis is preparing a proposal which could see a £multi-million investment into its Milton Keynes department store in the centre:MK.


The retailer is planning a major refurbishment and upgrade of the 120,000 sq ft shop to modernise and transform the shopping environment for customers.  Part of the shop would be reconfigured to increase the sales area by around 20,000 sq ft and departments improved with new concepts, brands and product ranges. John Lewis is also proposing to enhance the facade and access into the shop. 


Paul Hunt, managing director of John Lewis Milton Keynes said: "Despite the challenging economic climate, we want to make a major investment in our Milton Keynes department store. We have been in the town for over 30 years and are committed to staying here, so want to significantly improve the shopping experience for our customers and help to encourage additional shoppers into Milton Keynes and the centre:mk.


"The enhancements would make the shop one of our regional flagships, making it more welcoming and inspiring with a high-quality interior including innovative displays and exciting new brands. Each department would be given a full makeover and layouts enhanced to make it easier for our customers to browse. Services would be improved and The Place to Eat restaurant relocated and upgraded with a second eating outlet introduced.


"The proposed improvements to the facade would be sensitively carried out to ensure they are in keeping with the surroundings and help to strengthen our presence within the shopping centre."


Before submitting a planning application for the proposed improvements, John Lewis is inviting members of the local community to view its plans at a public exhibition which will be held outside the John Lewis department store in Middleton Hall, the centre:mk,  from 10am - 7pm on Friday, 23rd September and from 10am - 2pm on Saturday, 24th September.

Paul Hunt added:  "Following initial discussions with Milton Keynes Council and the owners of centre:mk, we are now seeking feedback from members of the local community on our proposal. The views of local residents, shoppers and businesses are very important to us, so we hope that people will take the opportunity to see our proposal. The exhibition will provide more detailed information on our plans and the benefits of what we are proposing, as well as visuals. Members of the project team will be available throughout the event to answer any questions and all comments will be carefully considered before the application is submitted."


Subject to the feedback received at the consultation, John Lewis is aiming to submit the application by the end of October. If this is approved by Milton Keynes Council, construction would start in early spring 2012 and is expected to take seven months. The work would be carefully phased to enable the store to remain open throughout the process.