John Lewis to build 10,000 rental homes

George Sell George Sell Uploaded 05 July 2021

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UK: Retailer John Lewis has announced plans to build 10,000 BTR homes over the next few years.

The department store chain said it wanted to address the national housing shortage and support local communities. It said the plans would give the firm a stable, long-term income, as well as providing new job opportunities.

Tenants will have the choice of renting fully furnished units supplied with John Lewis products or using their own.

"As a business driven by social purpose, we have big ambitions for moving into property rental," said Nina Bhatia, executive director of strategy and commercial development for the John Lewis Partnership.

Around 7,000 of the initial 10,000 homes would be on sites in the existing John Lewis property portfolio, and will range from studio flats to houses. Other homes could be built on new sites.

All housing developments would come with a concierge service and would feature a Waitrose convenience store near the entrance. It has been reported that some homes could be built in department store car parks, above Waitrose supermarkets or next to distribution centres.

Since current chair Dame Sharon White took over in February 2020, John Lewis has closed around a third of its stores, leaving it with 35.

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