Flagship Milton Keynes store staff working over night to get ready for relaunch

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EMPLOYEES at a flagship Milton Keynes store are working overnight tonight (Thursday) to get the next phase of a £27million refurbishment ready in time for 9am opening tomorrow.

John Lewis, at thecentre:mk is undergoing a much-needed £27million revamp with work being managed in phases by Bletchley-based shopfitter Patton Group.

Employees from the women’s accessories department were working hard to put the finishing touches to the new look this afternoon and expect to be in the store until at least 2am.

John Lewis MD Paul Hunt, in an exclusive interview with Business Citizen, said the store’s 700 employee partners, who each own a part of the business empire, were ‘excited’ by the changes. He promised that customers can expect to see a “spectacular difference” in the way the store looks.

The changes are set to lift the Milton Keynes department store to regional flagship status in an radius of up to an hour’s driving time from the new city.

The changes are also significant in terms of the fast-changing face of retailing, where the emphasis is on comfort, professional help and advice and creating an environment where people want to stay for longer in stores and make considered buying choices.

Mr Hunt also said the decision to invest in Milton Keynes was a vote of confidence in the future of the new city.

He said the commitment of the local council and business leaders to the future of the new city was a key part of the decision to invest significant sums in the refurbishment.

“Fundamentally we have the commitment from all the people that matter that Milton Keynes is the right place for that investment,” he said.