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Peter Ruis: ‘We need new shops, we don’t have enough’

John Lewis intends to open 60 more stores by 2018

New stores are part of an omnichannel strategy to drive online growth, says John Lewis buying and brand director Peter Ruis.

“We need new shops, we don’t have enough. We’re not in the places we need to be because when we open a shop we create a whole online market we never had,” revealed Ruis at the Drapers Fashion Summit yesterday.

“We need 60 shops and we’ll probably get there by 2018 with a bit of luck.”

It seems the strategy to expand on the 39-strong store estate involves opening up stores in regional cities such as Exeter, York and Chelmsford. These will be smaller format stores, which are only 67,000 square foot, versus the usual 150,000 square foot of a regular John Lewis department store.

Ruis also revealed that John Lewis is aiming to increase its online sales from £1 billion to £3 billion by 2020, but warned: "It can be difficult to gauge precisely where sales come from in an omnichannel environment."

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