John Lewis opens Cardiff store

In a previous blog I commented on a John Lewis report, despite their decreasing sale figures the fashion part of the department store had been continuously doing well, as sales rose 2.2% over the first half of 2009. Total online sales rose 11.6% to £151.5m over the half and the retailer re-launched its fashion website with 200 brands. Today, John Lewis opened the biggest Department store in Wales in Cardiff’s St David’s Centre.

The 280,000 sq ft shop, the retailer’s largest outside of London, anchors the extended development and was the first to open. It will employ about 800 people.

The store is the first to feature a new-look fashion department including a designer area, denim wall and contemporary jewellery and accessories fixtures. The shop is also the first to include computer access points. The retailer said: “The concept has no defined walkways, allowing shoppers a sense of discovery.”

Womenswear brands stocked include Stella McCartney lingerie, Elie Tahari, Mulberry, Tanya Sarne for John Lewis and Les Petites. The store will also house menswear brands such as Ralph Lauren, Belstaff, John Smedley, Zegna Sport and Hackett.

The opening was marked by models, who acted as live mannequins in the city centre to showcase the fashion brands on offer. Waiting consumers were also treated to street entertainment from a samba band and jugglers.

John Lewis Cardiff managing director Liz Mihell said: “Our opening is the culmination of a lot of hard work and preparation. Cardiff is a growing and vibrant city.”

See also Drapers for a full article.