A multi-million pound refurbishment scheme for the Milton Keynes branch of John Lewis has reached completion.
The refurbishment project comprised a complete reworking of the site’s existing departments – including fashion, home and consumer electronics – along with the introduction of a new beauty spa – the Beauty Retreat – and an espresso bar. Now that work on the project is complete the refurbishment has modernised and transformed the shopping environment for John Lewis customers in thecentre:mk.
In addition, access to the department store has also been improved, whilst part of the store has been reconfigured to increase the sales area by approximately 20,000 sq ft.
Work began on the project in spring 2012 and was completed in October 2012. The work was initiated after Milton Keynes Council’s planning committee unanimously granted planning permission and listed building consent for the project to go ahead.
Patton Group was the main contractor on the John Lewis refurbishment project, whilst the architect was Brooker Flynn. As the store remained open throughout the duration of the works the construction programme was divided into phases to reduce the impact on customers.
The haberdashery and womenswear departments were among the first areas of the site to benefit from the makeover. Changes to the department included the introduction of a new denim wall and a luxury fashion advice suite, as well as the installation of fixtures and fittings for jewellery and accessories.
Discussing the alterations at the Milton Keynes store, John Lewis Managing Director, Paul Hunt, said:
“Our multi-million pound investment in our department store benefits local shoppers and will contribute significantly to the vitality and appeal of Milton Keynes and the centre:mk. This also helps to ensure the town retains its rightful role as the regional shopping destination of choice.”
Centre Director for thecentre:mk, Robert Hall, added:
“The refurbishment comes as part of thecentre:mk’s continued commitment to the ongoing establishment of the centre as the region’s premier shopping destination.
“As a listed building, it was imperative that we worked to maintain the important features of the listing whilst still facilitating the creation of a new and modern retail space, and there was no doubt in our minds that a refurbished and enhanced John Lewis department store would help us do this.”
An important new addition to John Lewis Milton Keynes is the Beauty Retreat which is located on the first floor of the site. The Beauty Retreat offers customers a range of treatments, including facials, manicures, pedicures, eyebrow/eyelash tinting and threading from a host of premium brands, such as Clarins, Elemis, Blink, Jessica and Decleor.
Paul Hunt commented:
“We believe the Beauty Retreat will not only inspire and delight shoppers but add to their shopping experience. The Retreat is still a relatively new concept for John Lewis but it has been really well received by customers and it will be a fabulous addition to the services customers will be able to access in-store at John Lewis Milton Keynes.”
The John Lewis Partnership operates 38 John Lewis shops across the UK, which includes 30 department stores and eight John Lewis at home stores. In addition, the John Lewis Partnership owns and operates 264 Waitrose supermarkets, as well as online store johnlewis.com which stocks approximately 200,000 products.
The company has an annual turnover of nearly £8.2bn and is the UK’s largest example of worker co-ownership, whereby all 76,500 members of staff are partners in the business.
For more information about John Lewis, please visit: www.johnlewis.com.
Thameside Fire Protection Ltd
Thameside Fire Protection Ltd is a family-run business which has been in operation for more than 25 years. The Company prides itself on its exemplary fire protection industry record and is one of the largest independent fire protection companies in the UK.
Working on the refurbishment Project for John Lewis at Central Milton Keynes, Thameside Fire Protection Ltd modified in excess of 2,500 sprinkler heads to suit the new layouts throughout the Ground, First and Second floors. The Project required Thameside Fire Protection Ltd to work closely with Central Milton Keynes Management and their insurance company, with all of the work being undertaken out of hours, to allow John Lewis to continue trading each day.
John Wilkinson, Thameside Fire Protection Ltd, said:
“John Lewis, Milton Keynes, occupies a significant part of Central Milton Keynes Shopping Centre and as a result the fixed fire suppression sprinkler system forms an integral part of the overall fire strategy, both to John Lewis and the busy shopping centre. As well as the need to maintain an active fire protection system throughout the branch, during trading hours, it was equally important that the same consideration was given to the centre and all the adjoining retail units, for this reason the sprinkler protection contract works, over 31 phases, had to be carried out only at night.
“As there are four wet sprinkler valves controlling protection throughout the branch, it was necessary to drain and recharge the systems every night and morning, respectively, before the store opened. At the height of the contract there were up to 14 men – working in pairs – and two supervisors, working on site, seven nights a week.”
“This was our fourth successful major refurbishment contract for the John Lewis Partnership, having completed John Lewis Canary Wharf, London, in 2011, Norwich and Oxford Street earlier this year.
We look forward to continuing as an approved supply chain contractor to the John Lewis Partnership in the future.”