The recruitment drive, which forms part of John Lewis’ commitment to the city, has involved the retailer working alongside Leeds City Council and Hammerson to sign an Employment and Skills Charter, marking a pledge to support Leeds residents in accessing more than 1,000 new employment opportunities.
James Prince, head of branch at John Lewis Leeds, said: “We’ve had such an incredible response to the recruitment drive so far, which gives me confidence that we will have an exceptional team of partners in John Lewis Leeds.
“This drive has been one of the most popular recruitment campaigns I’ve seen and I’m encouraged by the response from the local community and surrounding areas. The partnership offers fantastic opportunities to progress and move up the career ladder and my focus will now be on helping to build the ideal team for our first shop in Leeds.”
Successful applicants will become partners and co-owners of the business and will receive benefits including an annual bonus as well as access to holiday and leisure facilities.
This year’s partnership bonus of £145m was equivalent to five weeks’ pay.
John Lewis said the successful applicants will also benefit from the partnership’s lifelong learning approach to career development, ensuring that every person can fulfil their potential at work.
John Lewis Leeds will be the retailer’s third shop to open in Yorkshire. Representing a £37m investment in Leeds, the 255,000 sq ft site will anchor Hammerson’s Victoria Gate development and will become part of the wider Victoria estate at its launch later this year. The shop will feature more than 350,000 products across fashion, home and technology.
John Lewis Leeds will be the retailer’s most service-led shop, offering more than 30 services available for customers, such as a beauty spa, a foreign exchange and home design service.
The 550 jobs include full time and part time positions within the store, from customer services and shop floor assistants, to specialist roles including carpet fitters, beauty therapists and personal stylists.
John Lewis said the breadth of services that will be available in the Leeds reflects its ambition to expand the experiences within its shops.
Mr Prince added: “Having lived in the city for the past four years, it means a lot to me to be able to offer jobs at John Lewis Leeds to local people.
“There are some brilliant, talented individuals in the region and I’m looking forward to meeting enthusiastic and dedicated future partners and hopefully welcoming them to become a part of our team.”
Hilary Benn, Labour MP for Leeds Central and Shadow Foreign Secretary, said: “This is an exciting development for Leeds and a striking building. It is bringing a large number of jobs to the city centre, and we all look forward to John Lewis opening.””
James Rogers, community manager at Hammerson, said Hammerson is also committed to ensuring that the local community benefits from the Victoria Gate development.
“We will be hosting employment roadshows across Leeds during June to provide people with information on current and forthcoming job opportunities at Victoria Gate.
“As part of the roadshow, Leeds City Council will be on hand to offer CV support and interview guidance and one of the sessions will also be attended by the Leeds Rhinos, following Hammerson’s recent funding contribution to the Leeds Rhinos Foundation and its Work Club.
“The purpose of these Victoria Gate sponsorships and donations are to support local organisations and projects that develop the employment skills and experience of young people, and we’re really pleased to be able to provide this for Leeds residents.”