Press releases

John Lewis announces plans to open in Oxford

Wednesday 15 May 2013

John Lewis today signed an agreement with the Westgate Oxford Alliance Partnership, a joint venture between Land Securities Group PLC and the Crown Estate, to deliver a new department store in Oxford.

The John Lewis department store will extend over three floors, totalling 100,000 sq ft of selling space and will create 500 new jobs. The plans include a customer café, a Place to Eat and a dedicated customer collection entrance located in the basement of the Westgate Centre's new car park.

Andy Street, managing director, John Lewis, said: 'Oxford has long been a sought after location for us and we're delighted to be able to expand our reach to customers across the region for the first time, providing them with more convenient access to our inspiring products and great service. We're looking forward to becoming part of the local community.'

Richard Akers of the Westgate Oxford Alliance said: 'We are delighted that John Lewis is anchoring our new development adjoining the Westgate Centre, which we own jointly with the Crown Estate. This is an exciting project and this enables us to press ahead with a planning application for the scheme, which will confirm Oxford city centre as one of the leading retail and leisure destinations in the UK.'

Councillor Bob Price, leader of Oxford City Council, says: 'We are delighted to welcome John Lewis to Oxford as the anchor tenant of the redeveloped Westgate Centre. This will confirm Oxford as one of the leading retail destinations in the UK and significantly contribute to the long-term vitality and viability of the city centre.'

The new flexible format department store in Oxford will have a target opening date of 2017 and will highlight fashion, home and consumer electronics' concepts in a contemporary setting. Computer terminals in the branch will allow shoppers to browse the wider John Lewis online offer and order for home delivery or next day collection at the shop.

Notes to editors

In 2007 John Lewis committed to a department store in Oxford city centre and began to work with Capital Shopping Centre to deliver a new shop, but due to economic circumstances the development was unable to progress.

In 2010 John Lewis welcomed the Westgate Oxford Alliance Partnership, a joint venture between Land Securities Group PLC and the Crown Estate, as the new owner of the Westgate Shopping Centre scheme and fully supported its desire to regenerate the city centre.

John Lewis opened its first flexible department store in Exeter city centre on 12 October 2012, with further shops to follow in York and Chelmsford. The flexible department store concept provides John Lewis with another option for showcasing a range of products in locations throughout the country, with shops averaging 65,000 to 100,000 sq ft of selling space.

The John Lewis Partnership - The John Lewis Partnership operates 39 John Lewis shops across the UK (30 department stores and nine John Lewis at home),, 291 Waitrose shops, and business to business contracts in the UK and abroad. The business has annual gross sales of over £9.5bn. It is the UK's largest example of worker co-ownership where all 84,700 staff are Partners in the business.

John Lewis - John Lewis, 'Retailer of the Year 2013'* 'The Nation's Best Retailer'** and 'Multichannel Retailer of the Year 2013' *, typically stocks more than 350,000 separate lines in its department stores. The website stocks over 200,000 products focused on the best of fashion, beauty, home and giftware and electrical items including online exclusives. is consistently ranked one of the top online shopping destinations in the UK. ( John Lewis Insurance offers a range of comprehensive insurance products - home, car, wedding and event, travel and pet insurance and life cover - delivering the usual values of expertise, trust and customer service expected from the John Lewis brand.

*Oracle Retail Week Awards 2013
** Verdict Consumer Satisfaction Awards 2013
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Land Securities is the UK's largest commercial property company and a member of the FTSE 100. The company owns and manages more than 26 million sq ft of office, retail and residential space.

The Crown Estate

  • The Crown Estate manages a highly diverse property business valued at more than £8 billion.
  • We pay our surplus revenue (profit) to the Treasury for the benefit of the nation every year: in 2011/12 this was £240 million. Over the past ten years The Crown Estate has paid nearly £2 billion to the Treasury.
  • Our objectives, which are laid down by Parliament under the Crown Estate Act 1961, include enhancing the value of the estate and the revenue it produces.
  • The responsibilities of The Crown Estate are to maintain and enhance the value of the estate and its income over the long term and to do this having regard to good management.   In summary, The Crown Estate is a successful business organisation guided by our core values – commercialism, integrity and stewardship
  • The Crown Estate manages a diverse property portfolio which includes office, retail and industrial premises; housing; farmland; forestry and minerals; parkland; and around half the foreshore and almost all the seabed around the UK.


For further information please contact:

Emma Moran
Senior Press Officer
John Lewis
Telephone: 020 7592 6058
Mobile: 07764 693503