7 July 2021
The Weekly

John Lewis is set to join the burgeoning ‘build to rent’ property sector, by planning to build 10,000 homes over the next decade in an attempt to recoup recent losses. In becoming a residential landlord John Lewis said it will strive to offer tenants a greater degree of security and more visibility of rent increases. John Lewis has identified over 7,000 opportunities for the construction of rental homes across its property portfolio. It is thought that in addition to taking on new sites for development, the new homes will also be built in department store car parks, above Waitrose supermarkets or next to distribution centres, and will range from studio flats to four-bedroom houses. The news comes following recent financial difficulties which saw the closure of 16 of 51 John Lewis stores, including department stores in Aberdeen, Peterborough, Sheffield and York. The first John Lewis homes are planned for southeast England, although opportunities are thought to be country-wide due to the extent of the current housing crisis. In addition to its pledge to offer fair rents and long term security to tenants, John Lewis is also thought to be offering its 80,000 staff discounted rents. Residents of a John Lewis home will have the option of renting it furnished with the department store’s products, or using their own. Housing developments will come with a concierge service and may feature a Waitrose convenience store near the entrance.