Introduction and Conception
In 1988, then Director of Research and Expansion Stuart Hampson announced to the Gazette the Partnership’s intention to build a department store in Glasgow. Such a move was building upon the success of John Lewis Edinburgh, trading in the city for 25 years. With the opening of John Lewis Aberdeen under a year away, Glasgow would ensure almost total coverage in Scotland, and would cement the Partnership’s reputation north of the border.
Early intentions were that the new department store would occupy about half the space of the Buchannan Centre, a brand new centre to be built in the heart of Glasgow’s shopping area. Opposite the centre would stand a brand new city concert hall. Both projects were central to a scheme of thorough rejuvenation of Glasgow City Centre. Despite these early intentions, work on the site was stalled until 1995, as the Buchannan Centre failed to get funding. Finally, it was confirmed that the Partnership’s latest branch in Scotland was to open in 1999. Construction dutifully began.