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Lewis’s bids to live on after closure

The closure of Liverpool independent department store Lewis’s in June may not be the final chapter for the retailer.

Lewis’s, which this week announced it would shutter its iconic Ranelagh Street store, will continue talks with its landlord Merepark about securing space in Merepark’s new £160m Central Village development on the street.

The mid-market indie must vacate the 120,000 sq ft store following the expiration of its lease in June, to make way for the redevelopment.

The closure of the store, which was founded by David Lewis 154 years ago, will lead to more than 200 redundancies.

David Thompson, managing director of Vergo Retail, which owns Lewis’s as well as indie department stores Joplings of Sunderland, Robbs of Hexham and Derry’s of Plymouth, said there was no guarantee that Lewis’s would reopen in the redevelopment, which is set for completion in two years.

Trade in the Ranelagh Street area has suffered since the opening of shopping centre Liverpool One a mile away in 2008.

“We have to have a retail centre that is strong enough to pull shoppers into the area,” added Thompson.

Readers' comments (1)

  • The Lewis's name is synonymous with Liverpool. I am not sure that the Central Village development will be able to compete with Liverpool One and I suspect we will not see it resurface elsewhere. What a sad demise of one of the oldest indie department stores in the UK. Its history is interlinked with some of the big names in retail. It opened one of the world’s first Christmas grottoes and had about seven stores in the country at one point before it was bought by Selfridges in the fifties and became part of Sears. It was bought by competitor Owen Owen which was headed by now Sir Philip Green. Such a sad loss.

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