Brent Cross: Towards the present day

The front entrance to John Lewis Brent Cross, on year after opening
21st century John Lewis Brent Cross

One hectic year

Brent Cross Shopping Centre, along with the John Lewis and ‘Waitrose, proved instantly successful with the locals. On its first birthday, the centre reflected on a hectic year. In the run up to Christmas, the building had experienced 250 000 visitors a week, and on an average Saturday, more than 50 000 people passed through the doors.

The 1995 Refurbishment

In 1995 a £40 million refurbishment was motioned for the Brent Cross Shopping Centre. The mall was to be entirely redesigned in order to improve customer flow, a result of the centre’s unprecedented popularity. An entirely new mall was to be created, 8 new elevators and two new glass lifts were instigated to alleviate congestion.

John Lewis Brent Cross and Waitrose Brent Cross embraced the refurbishments whole-heartedly. The department store added a brand new The Place To Eat restaurant, replacing the wine bar. Waitrose was the lucky owner of a brand new expansion. Both the shopping centre and the two shops were now ready to face the 21st century.

25 years young

In 2001 Brent Cross Shopping Centre celebrated its 25th year of trading. Of the 1300 partners working at the John Lewis, over 30 were founder members. On 15th July 2001, John Lewis Brent Cross became the first branch to open seven days a week, becoming pioneers of Sunday trading. The move was a clear indication of the store’s continuing popularity.

Project Pearl

At this point, the shopping centre in general was becoming increasingly well known for its fashion. In order to compete with its retail competitors, John Lewis Brent Cross confirmed a £5 million refurbishment project with a focus on the fashion department, store lighting and store ceilings. These were the first works to be undertaken since the branch opened in 1976, and were completed by October 2002. In 2006, the second wave of such works was confirmed. Project Pearl aimed to raise Brent Cross standards to the highest brinks of modernity. By October 2006 these latest refurbishments were completed.

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