The first whisperings about a John Lewis department store in Wales were uttered in the early months of 2004. The Gazette of 3 April 2004 informed its readers of the plans.John Lewis Cardiff would be the anchor shop of the £500 million St David’s 2 city centre development. St David’s would be one of the largest proposed retail developments in the UK. Upon eventual completion, John Lewis Cardiff would become the largest John Lewis branch outside of London, and the largest department store in Wales. Clearly, the role of the Partnership in shaping the retail landscape of a city cannot be understated. Spearheading yet another regeneration project, in almost entirely unchartered waters, was a clear demonstration of the extent to which the Partnership and urban modernity had become synonymous.
Gateway to Wales
The store would consist of four floors, and would also have an espresso bar and a Place to Eat Restaurant. The store exterior was to feature a highly striking glass frontage, that would single it out amongst its competitors. If John Lewis was going to land in Cardiff, they were not about to do it quietly. If the capital could be conquered then other opportunities in Wales would surely also arise.