Years of growth at Oxford Street and beyond

Snow on the roof garden of John Lewis, 1989
The exterior of John Lewis, 1989

Beyond Oxford Street

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, the attention of the Partnership moved beyond the shop on Oxford Street, as it looked to expand its portfolio both in and out of London. The 1970s was the dawn of a new era for retail, as the concept of regional shopping centres rose to fame. The Partnership was right there at the forefront – two of its most noticeable projects were John Lewis Brent Cross, north London, and the relocation of Bainbridges to the Eldon Square Shopping Centre in Newcastle.

The 1980s saw the Partnership further expand its list of department stores, as shops at Milton Keynes, Bristol, Peterborough, Welwyn and Norwich were all opened. Finally, in 1990, the Partnership capped off this massive run of expansion by opening an awe-inspiring shop in Kingston.

Back at the flagship

The shop continued to expand over subsequent years. The fourth floor was eventually converted into a further selling floor, and by 1991, the fifth floor underwent the same fate. The fifth floor became home to a brand new book department, which would be the largest in the Partnership. The radio and television department was also relocated to populate the fifth floor. The space for the new fifth floor emerged from the move of some of the central Partners to the head office in Victoria, testament to how much the Partnership had grown. In 1992  the auditorium was removed and the space became the home of an expansive toy department.

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