Exeter, 12th March 2012
- Department store John Lewis is more than trebling the size of its distribution centre at Hill Barton Business Park, in Exeter, to include an onsite counter for the collection of internet shopping purchases reports Tim Western, of Jones Lang LaSalle
, the global real estate services firm
that represented landlord, Bonhay & Eagle.
The company has signed a 10-year lease on 28,611 sq ft space at Hill Barton, which it is due to occupy from late spring, ahead of the opening of its new store at the former Debenhams building, in Exeter city centre, later this year.
The investment supports the ongoing expansion of John Lewis' 'click and collect' service, through the provision of convenient collection points from which shoppers can pick up smaller items purchased online. The larger distribution centre at Hill Barton, where fit-out work is now under way, will also provide deliveries of internet purchases across the South West.
Driving the move is the increase in online shopping, which saw John Lewis' internet sales grow by 25 per cent last year. More than 20 per cent of its total trade is online.
Paul Grierson, development manager, new formats at John Lewis, said: "We are extending the existing distribution centre at Hill Barton Business Park, ahead of the opening of John Lewis Exeter, later this year.”
Tim Western added: “The expansion reflected a shift in consumer spending habits and this is the first deal we have seen south of Bristol for this type of facility and there will be more in future. John Lewis is a well-regarded brand on the high street and it is great to see how they are diversifying and putting further investment into Exeter."