Video: Your first glimpse inside Leeds’ new John Lewis store

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WORK is underway for the grand opening of the £37m John Lewis store at Victoria Gate – as two new names sign up to the development.

The flagship John Lewis store will be the first to include five shopping floors and also boasts a rooftop restaurant and champagne bar, in-store beauty spa, coffee experience, cafés, personal stylists and a community room, which is available for local charities and groups to use for free.

Gavin Smith, senior manager of implementation. Pictures by Simon Hulme.

Gavin Smith, senior manager of implementation. Pictures by Simon Hulme.

The countdown is now on as the shop is fully fitted out in time for the launch later this year.

Gavin Smith, senior manager of implementation at John Lewis, has been with the company for 27 years.

He said: “Leeds is our biggest and most exciting project that we are working on this year.

“The atrium is my favourite part because it’s so different. The scale of it gives the building a real presence.”

Store manager James Prince pictured at the store.

Store manager James Prince pictured at the store.

Mr Smith added: “We will have 21 days to get it from an empty shell to a full shop that is ready to go.

“Every bath towel, sheet and flannel has to be folded in a certain way. It takes two days of folding and it’s quite a task to ensure we do it to the best standards.”

Head of branch for John Lewis, James Prince, said: “It is a stunning landmark building for the city. The shop looks amazing already.”

The Beauty section will offer more than 120 treatments from massages to manicures.

It comes as Victoria Gate announces two new arrivals, with footwear company Russell and Bromley and luxury leather brand Aspinal of London set to open stores at the site.

The new additions mean the £165m development is now 74 per cent let ahead of its grand opening, which will be held later this year.

Aspinal of London will take up a 133sq m unit whilst Russell and Bromley will have a 169sq m store.