John Lewis Leeds opened its doors at 10am on the 20 October 2016 as the £37m anchor store in the Victoria Gate development, and the 49th link in the JL chain.
Head of Branch James Prince, and representatives from three local charities officially cut the ribbon: St Gemma’s Hospice, Lineham Farm and Care & Repair will all share £3,000 from the branch’s Community Matters scheme.
Director, Shop Trade Maggie Porteous spoke to Partners before the shop opened, reflecting on Leeds’s heritage.
She said: ‘JL Leeds is a superb destination, with beautifully curated brands, and we’ve been wanting to come to the city for at least 30 years. We’ve waited a long time, but I am delighted to welcome all Leeds Partners to the Partnership family.’
The first item through the till was a pair of ladies’ red leather gloves: the temperature was the prevailing factor for the customer’s purchase.
The branch geared up to trade two days prior, welcoming more than 2,400 customers to its first my JL event, where the 550-strong team were supported by colleagues from JL Sheffield and York.
James says: ‘We’ve seen an enormous customer appetite for our shop to open, and a huge queue formed extremely quickly for the my JL event. Within minutes of us opening the doors, customers were already sitting down for manicures, and being delighted by our Partners.’
The 255,000 sq ft shop is JL’s more experiential and service-led shop to date, including an &Beauty Spa and a Benugo Café:Bar with prosecco on tap.
The branch is also supporting local talent, by featuring 120 products from 11 local Yorkshire suppliers, all of which are based within a 30-mile radius of Leeds.