New John Lewis opens

Betony Lloyd 10 November 2007

Cambridge’s vibrant shopping scene has been further enhanced by the opening of a new John Lewis.

The new 28,000 sq ft department store is one of 52 units, restaurants and cafes being unveiled as part of the new Grand Arcade complex on St Andrew’s Street. Along with five floors of fashion, furniture and homewares, the new store features a top floor brasserie and espresso bar with a Ritz-trained chef and stunning views over Cambridge.

The opening of the new store is further evidence of the retail boom transforming Cambridge. It coincides with the late opening of H and M and the opening of Zara, both also on St. Andrews Street, and is evidence of the growing consumerism of the city’s more affluent residents.

“Shopping in Cambridge is much better now with Zara and H and M – there’s more variety,” said Esther Jansen and Hannah Tydeman, both post-graduate students in marketing at Anglia Ruskin University.

But there are fears that the opening of the new stores may prove detrimental to other areas of Cambridge, as John Lewis leave their old site on Burleigh Street and the new H and M provides competition for the smaller, sister store firmly established in the Grafton Centre .

Equally, there are fears that the city centre retail boom may leave behind those on lower incomes.

But the store’s Managing Director claimed that the shop is good value. He pointed out that while the store does stock luxuries such as a £48.00 Laurent Perrier rose and a £50,000 flat screen TV available on order, a full range of prices extends down to a 5p button – so maybe there is something left for the students after all.

Many students who believe that shopping in Cambridge can be too expensive have welcomed the news.

” more for special occasions rather than normal shopping,” said Viki Archer, a 3rd year management student at Caius. But with the new John Lewis, this could change, she hinted. “John Lewis will be great – Christmas shopping will be just around the corner .”

Betony Lloyd