Peterborough MP Paul Bristow has called on the chairman of the iconic high-end department store chain to ease concerns about the future of its four storey branch in the Queensgate shopping centre, where it employs 390 staff.
The move comes amid concerns that John Lewis is preparing to announce the closure of eight of its 42 stores as it battles with the impact of the growth of online shopping on its bricks and mortar stores.
Mr Bristow, in a letter to Dame Sharon White, the John Lewis chairman, states: “John Lewis is the anchor of the Queensgate centre. It has a great future ahead of its backed by the Government’s Towns Fund, which will bring the regeneration of the Station Quarter and North Westgate, alongside our new university.
“Given the Prime Minister’s announcement of the roadmap to the opening of the economy, I have every confidence that customers will flock back to the city centre in the coming months.
“It would be a tragedy if John Lewis were not there to benefit.
“You are part of Peterborough’s story.
“I hope that you can offer some reassurance that John Lewis will continue to be an integral part of our city’s retail and future.”
The move is a repeat of last year’s uncertainty when John Lewis announced it was looking to shut eight stores as it re-opened its retail business after the first national lockdown.
The Queensgate store was among the last to be told to re-open in a phased resumption of business by John Lewis.
Dame Sharon has said she expects 70 per cent of John Lewis sales to be online by the end the pandemic.