John Lewis boss sees York as a "winning city"

York Press: Suzanne Burnett, president of the Chamber and Andy Street, managing director of the John Lewis Group at the Leeds, York and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce annual lunch Suzanne Burnett, president of the Chamber and Andy Street, managing director of the John Lewis Group at the Leeds, York and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce annual lunch

THE managing director of national department store chain John Lewis has described York as “the glue that sticks together an affluent catchment area”.

Andy Street was speaking yesterday at the Leeds, York and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce annual lunch, held at the Royal York Hotel.

Describing why John Lewis was investing £15 million in a new 120,000 sq ft store at Monks Cross, during a period of rising online retail trends, Mr Street said York had the potential to be a “winning city”.

He said: “John Lewis is still a scarce thing. We don’t invest in any Tom, Dick and Harry city, in fact there are only 40 shops in the UK.

“We select the cities we are going to open in very carefully, and we picked York for four reasons.

“The first is the robust local economy. Secondly we identified that York has a great catchment area in terms of affluence, and we think York can glue that catchment together.

“We looked at Waitrose stores in the area and they are all trading very well, and finally we wanted to make a bid for Yorkshire as a whole, and see York very much as complementing our flagship Yorkshire store in Leeds.”

Mr Street said the Vangarde development was not about out of town retail vs in town retail, but was about the city working together.

He said: “When John Lewis comes to the city it will complement what is already there.

“This is about how the wider York can draw the catchment together from a wider area. We will be the magnet, and the catalyst for that happening, and small businesses will grow off the back of it.

“We will be working together to stop retail spend leaking out to other catchment areas.”

Also speaking at the lunch, which was attended by more than 300 people, was the new president of the Chamber Suzanne Burnett.

Mrs Burnett, who has been on the Chamber board for three years, and is managing director of Scarborough recruitment and HR firm Castle Employment, said: “While I don’t under estimate how difficult the economy has been I do feel there is a renewed confidence coming out of this area.

“Prospect for business are improving and there is a great deal to be positive about in our region.

“I personally am looking forward to meeting many of our members from York and the North Yorkshire area, and seeing the opportunities that are arising in our area come to fruition.”

York’s John Lewis store is set to open in April next year, with the creation of 300 jobs, 100 of which have already been filled, with Mr Street describing them as "jobs for life".

Comments (3)

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12:44pm Thu 19 Dec 13

nickeggleton says...

Say again,

"Mr Street said the Vangarde development was not about out of town retail vs in town retail, but was about the city working together.
He said: 'When John Lewis comes to the city it will complement what is already there.'
'This is about how the wider York can draw the catchment together from a wider area. We will be the magnet, and the catalyst for that happening, and small businesses will grow off the back of it."

Pardon me. Hang on while I stop my sides splitting with laughter.

Where is the evidence you are working together with 'the city'? What are the strategies? There are none. It's hit and hope.

How will small businesses grow on the back of it and will they replace the small independent competition you put out of business (with your unfair rates, free parking, efficient new buildings).

Other than wages all the profits will be sent down south.

How much of the supply chain will be spent 'locally'.

This is plainly nonsense.
Say again, "Mr Street said the Vangarde development was not about out of town retail vs in town retail, but was about the city working together. He said: 'When John Lewis comes to the city it will complement what is already there.' 'This is about how the wider York can draw the catchment together from a wider area. We will be the magnet, and the catalyst for that happening, and small businesses will grow off the back of it." Pardon me. Hang on while I stop my sides splitting with laughter. Where is the evidence you are working together with 'the city'? What are the strategies? There are none. It's hit and hope. How will small businesses grow on the back of it and will they replace the small independent competition you put out of business (with your unfair rates, free parking, efficient new buildings). Other than wages all the profits will be sent down south. How much of the supply chain will be spent 'locally'. This is plainly nonsense. nickeggleton

12:48am Fri 20 Dec 13

Magicman! says...

Still waiting to hear back about my application.... filled it out on the day it went live (1st week of November), and yet still it says "under consideration"
Still waiting to hear back about my application.... filled it out on the day it went live (1st week of November), and yet still it says "under consideration" Magicman!

5:31pm Sun 29 Dec 13

CaroleBaines says...

nickeggleton wrote:
Say again,

"Mr Street said the Vangarde development was not about out of town retail vs in town retail, but was about the city working together.
He said: 'When John Lewis comes to the city it will complement what is already there.'
'This is about how the wider York can draw the catchment together from a wider area. We will be the magnet, and the catalyst for that happening, and small businesses will grow off the back of it."

Pardon me. Hang on while I stop my sides splitting with laughter.

Where is the evidence you are working together with 'the city'? What are the strategies? There are none. It's hit and hope.

How will small businesses grow on the back of it and will they replace the small independent competition you put out of business (with your unfair rates, free parking, efficient new buildings).

Other than wages all the profits will be sent down south.

How much of the supply chain will be spent 'locally'.

This is plainly nonsense.
Utter nonsense. Just a piece of protectionism rhetoric from Nick Eggleton, nothing new to see here.
[quote][p][bold]nickeggleton[/bold] wrote: Say again, "Mr Street said the Vangarde development was not about out of town retail vs in town retail, but was about the city working together. He said: 'When John Lewis comes to the city it will complement what is already there.' 'This is about how the wider York can draw the catchment together from a wider area. We will be the magnet, and the catalyst for that happening, and small businesses will grow off the back of it." Pardon me. Hang on while I stop my sides splitting with laughter. Where is the evidence you are working together with 'the city'? What are the strategies? There are none. It's hit and hope. How will small businesses grow on the back of it and will they replace the small independent competition you put out of business (with your unfair rates, free parking, efficient new buildings). Other than wages all the profits will be sent down south. How much of the supply chain will be spent 'locally'. This is plainly nonsense.[/p][/quote]Utter nonsense. Just a piece of protectionism rhetoric from Nick Eggleton, nothing new to see here. CaroleBaines

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