THE WHAT? UK department store John Lewis and Partners is set to build 10,000 rental homes over the next decade as it looks to boost flagging retail sales.
THE DETAILS The company is said to have identified enough excess space above current John Lewis and Waitrose stores – part of its umbrella – as well as land next to distribution centres.
Ranging from studio flats to four-bedroom houses, tenants will be able to choose whether to have the properties fully furnished with the department store’s products, or opt to furnish it themselves.
There is said to be enough space to build at least 7,000 homes, with the first John Lewis homes to be built in the South East. However, there are plans to spread across the country.
THE WHY? Said to be a way for the company to help the national housing shortage and support local communities, it is also a route for the beleaguered store to reverse its current financial woes.
John Lewis has closed approximately a third of its stores since February 2020, with the company reporting its first ever annual loss in 2020 due to the pandemic.