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Last Updated: Friday, 12 March, 2004, 10:07 GMT
John Lewis to open capital store
Impression of the new St David's 2 shopping complex
A 315m facelift is planned for shopping in Cardiff city centre
Retailer John Lewis is to open its first store in Wales as part of a 315m shopping redevelopment in Cardiff city centre.

It will be the cornerstone of the new St David's 2 shopping centre, work on which is scheduled to start next spring subject to final planning approval.

The new four-floor department store on The Hayes is expected to open in 2008.

The retailer - which has 26 stores in the UK - says this will be one of its "next generation" of department stores.

Ann Humphries, John Lewis retail development director said: "It will be our first department store to open in Wales and we are delighted to be part of the process of helping to consolidate Cardiff's position as a major national and international capital city."

John Lewis
John Lewis - opening its first store in Wales

The development will see shops, restaurants, bars and 300 apartments set around squares and arcades over a million square feet.

It will replace the existing St David's shopping centre and expand southwards, creating an estimated 2,000 jobs, in addition to 1,000 construction jobs.

Peter Cleary, for the developers, the St David's Partnership said: "This is an important first step in our pre-letting programme to attract world class retailers."

BRITAIN'S TOP SHOPPING PLACES
1 London's West End
2 Glasgow
3 Birmingham
4 Leeds
5 Nottingham
6 Manchester
7 Southampton
8 Cardiff
9 Norwich
10 Blue Water, Kent

It is a period of change for the city centre, with the David Morgan store on the opposite side of The Hayes put up for sale last November.

The 390 staff have been warned it could close next year.

There are also still negotiations with Harvey Nichols about opening one of its smaller stores in St David's 2.

Meanwhile, Cardiff has slipped two places to eighth, overtaken by Birmingham and Southampton, in the annual list of Britain's top shopping places unveiled last week by credit company Experian.

Designer quarter

But retail analysts are confident that the St David's redevelopment can see it rise again, as has happened with Birmingham, which has surged to third from 13th place after the reopening of its revamped Bull Ring centre.

Cardiff City Centre manager Paul Williams said John Lewis was strong on furnishings and fabrics and would build up the shopping profile of the city.

It would also complement rather than compete with a department store like Howells, which was strong in fashion.

He said: "The key is to make Cardiff a one-stop place to shop. We need to compete with Glasgow and Birmingham.

"We need top brands and names, the likes of Gucci and Calvin Klein - we almost need a designer quarter."




SEE ALSO:
'Welcome relief' for John Lewis
15 Jan 04  |  Business
Retailers hope for Christmas rush
17 Dec 03  |  South East Wales


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