John Lewis Partnership, the employee-owned business which includes the John Lewis department store chain, is to invest a record £500m in 2011 and indicated that the department store chain would be ready to expand overseas by the year’s end.
It is thought that £240m of the total investment has been earmarked for the eponymous department store chain.
Charlie Mayfield, chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, which also owns grocer Waitrose, told the Sun that 1,250 jobs would be created at John Lewis during the year as it prepared to open more stores. It is thought that £240m of the figure is to be invested in the department st
The 28 store John Lewis said yesterday that it had record sales over the Christmas period, with sales up 8.9% in the five weeks to January 1.
John Lewis will anchor the Westfield Stratford site when it opens this year.
Mayfield said that a decision to open overseas could come in 2011. He said: “There are really big markets out there”.
John Lewis has in the past played down speculation the it was gearing up for an overseas push. In November, John Lewis was reported to be in the final stages of agreeing a deal with Dubai-based developer, Al-Futtaim Group Real Estate, to open stores across the Middle East. John Lewis declined to comment at the time.
Mayfield told the Sun that the economy was “more robust than people think”.
He added: “There will be people who are hit very, very hard. But equally there will be others who are not.”