John Lewis is to become a major landlord, aiming to build rental homes at 20 of its sites around the UK as part of a strategy to rebuild profits to £400m within five years.
The retailer, which also owns Waitrose, said the new homes could be built above or beside stores or on other land it owns, and would be furnished with products from John Lewis department stores. Residents would also be able to order food deliveries from Waitrose supermarkets. It is aiming to make planning applications for two sites in Greater London in the new year.
“We’re a landlord already at three of our properties, so this is an obvious extension for us. And we’re now talking to developers and investors who can help us achieve our ambitions,” the company said.
It is launching a new strategy under the chairman,