Jobs at Peterborough’s John Lewis are at risk because of store changes to make way for a cinema-led redevelopment of the Queensgate shopping centre.
Twenty-five distribution operators have been told their department will close as a result of the £30 million revamp of the centre.
As a result of this closure, 25 distribution partners have been informed and have now entered consultation.John Lewis spokeswoman
John Lewis, which employs 550 people in Peterborough, is the principal store in the Queensgate shopping centre.
When proposals to create the 77,000 square feet extension, which have been put together by centre owners Invesco and its managers Lend Lease, were first announced it was stated John Lewis would give up under-used storage space.
However, a spokeswoman for John Lewis Peterborough said the space to be given up was currently occupied by the store’s distribution operation, which will close and be relocated.
She said: “Proposals have been submitted to redevelop the Queensgate shopping centre, which subject to approval, will enable us to significantly invest in and refurbish our entire Peterborough shop to create an inspiring and compelling new space for our customers.
“The refurbishment would additionally result in the closure and relocation of our Peterborough distribution operation, which is currently located in the back of shop space.
She said: “John Lewis Peterborough was historically set-up differently to our other shops and the proposal provides an opportunity to align it.
“The distribution operation or Customer Delivery Hub (CDH) will relocate to our wider network, primarily to our site in Trumpington, Cambridge.
“As a result of this closure, 25 distribution partners from the CDH have been informed and have now entered consultation.
She added: “Our dedicated team will be working closely with these partners to understand how they can best be supported and this will include offering them alternative employment in John Lewis’s wider distribution network, where roles will be available for them.”
Plans for the redevelopment of Queensgate were submitted to Peterborough City Council in June.
As part of the project, fashion retailer Next has agreed to move into a larger unit.
In addition, a number of well-known restaurants have confirmed their preference for the extension and Odeon has agreed to manage an 11-screen cinema.
A Queensgate spokesman said about 200 jobs will be created once the extension is completed.