Jan 21, 2022
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Savills seeks new occupier for John Lewis Aberdeen store space. Will it switch from retail?

Jan 21, 2022

A buyer is being sought for the prime retail location in Aberdeen city centre formerly occupied by John Lewis.

John Lewis

International real estate advisor Savills has been appointed by the department store retailer to find a new business to fill the 200,000 sq ft, four-storey space at 88 George Street that closed in late August.

Offered to prospective buyers as a “unique retail or development opportunity” it is thought the site may be marketed with a price tag of around £5 million, according to local reports.

The Aberdeen store was one of eight UK units announced for closure by John Lewis Partnership last March with the remaining 34 reopening in April. At the time, the retailer said the closures were “in locations that can’t sustain a large store”.

In Scotland, John Lewis still operates city centre stores in Glasgow and Edinburgh, with the latter unit having been revamped in May after a multi-million pound refurbishment.

The Aberdeen store closure came despite strong opposition and a major campaign supported by local businesses and newspapers. The former store is currently home to a Covid vaccination centre which will continue to operate throughout the sale process.

Stuart Moncur, head of national retail, Savills, said the “substantial and highly prominent building” had a “wealth of potential”.

He added: “Its scale and significant profile could be considered suitable for a range of alternative uses, subject to the usual planning consents.”

Because of its size, it will be hard to find just one retailer to take over the site. Although a developer may be able to break the premises down into smaller retail units, as with demise of Debenhams, alternative occupiers may have to be sought, including redeveloping the site into residential units.

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