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John Lewis Edinburgh to remain open during revamp

John Lewis will be the only retailer to remain open during the demolition of the St James Centre in Edinburgh city centre which starts this month.

John Lewis

John Lewis

The department store will stay open during the £850m project to get rid of the shopping centre and replace it with a new shopping, hotel and housing scheme at the east end of Princes Street, according to The Times.

The project will take four years to complete.

The managing director of John Lewis in Edinburgh, Barry Blamire, told the newspaper there would be no redundancies made during the refurbishment.

The shop employs about 620 direct workers and an additional 80 consultants in areas such as beauty.

Around 30,000 sq ft, or a fifth of the store’s retail space, will be closed during the refurbishment, but the company will open up the fifth floor, currently used as an office, as a new café in the coming months. The fourth floor is being refurbished before the key Christmas trading period.

The updated centre will open in the spring of 2020, bringing 1.7 million sq ft of retail space, 250 flats, a cinema and a five-star hotel. More than 80 new shops and 20 restaurants are expected to take up units when the site opens.

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