55 reasons why John Lewis in York should stay open

ANGRY John Lewis customers have inundated The Press with pleas for the York store to stay open following news that the department store at Monks Cross is to close with the loss of more than 200 jobs.

Scores of people commented on The Press’s social media sites and 55 readers sent in their strong views directly to The Press newsroom.

All spoke of their disappointment at the closure – many commenting that it was short-sighted given that people will want to go shopping again once we are through the pandemic.

And many urged John Lewis bosses to reconsider the decision.

Pauline Wilson said: “Think creatively John Lewis before any more damage is done. Invest and innovate – do not destroy an institution that matters to people just when they need some hope for the future.”

READ MORE: “I’m emailing John Lewis to protest – John Lewis York’s first customer speaks out”

Charles Oyston accused John Lewis of taking a “knee jerk reaction” rather than sitting down with the staff to “investigate ways to re-invigorate the business”.

He added: “The store has been out on a limb due to lack of footfall because the development around it has been slow however consider this. The new football stadium, leisure complex, eateries, bowling alley, indoor golf etc will bring a huge, yes huge, increase in footfall to the retail park: footfall that the store has been desperately needing for the past seven years .

“People are also itching to get out to shops again after lockdown and they will have money to spend and without doubt; staycation will result in more visitors to the area. Your mission John Lewis is how to attract these visitors to your store. Support your staff, keep this store running. You owe it to them after such a horrendous year. They are more important than shareholders. They are your future.”

One reader said: “Can they please please reconsider? Take over a store in York city centre? Not only is the store itself irreplaceable but it adds another blow to the devastation of the retail atmosphere in York.”

Another said: “The council needs to think about the impact of the loss to their revenue stream and engage in decent negotiations to allow JL to stay.”

Timm Hield accused the company of short-term thinking and said: “Closing York and Sheffield stores leaves only one John Lewis for the whole of Yorkshire! That’s six million people. Not only that, but being the biggest county, means travel is greater for us. Whitby to Leeds isn’t exactly a quick journey. Short-term thinking.”

Jan Perry: “Every town has Next or M&S so why make a special visit to Monks Cross now? I fear its future and for all the staff who work there.”

One reader posted: “Don’t close! I still have so much of my house to refurb with John Lewis stuff!”

Doreen Magson: “Absolutely gutted such a great store just what the city needs. Too many people shopping online resulting in many losing their jobs. SAVE OUR JOHN LEWIS we have few enough good department stores as it is.”

You can read more of strong views below – and you can send in your own via the SEND NOW button.

John Lewis in York closure – will you miss it?

“Tell us what you think about John Lewis closing in York. Will you miss it? Did you work there? What does it mean for the Vangarde shopping park and Community Stadium? Share your thoughts.”

We asked for your responses – this is what you sent.

Lynn Townend

Tell us what you think about John Lewis closing in York
I am devastated that John Lewis has closed this to me will have an effect on the other businesses. May be the store would have done better in York centre and not out of town. I can’t see it worth my while travelling to M&S and Next, Monks Cross has not been the same since monsoon and Laura Ashley and now Debenhams , I don’t like Primark or sports shops. I have grown up with department stores but I suppose the young people of today don’t shop at the likes of John Lewis and M&S including my daughters in there 20s.

Community contributor

Tell us what you think about John Lewis closing in York
I think it is a disaster for York and retail in general. There are fewer places to shop and to simply interact with people. Further reasons why people will not venture into York or to Monks Cross. Where does anyone buy anything from anymore, online should not be the only answer!!!

Mrs Doreen Magson

Tell us what you think about John Lewis closing in York
Absolutely gutted such a great store just what the city needs. Too many people shopping online resulting in many losing their jobs. SAVE OUR JOHN LEWIS we have few enough good department stores as it is.

Community contributor

Tell us what you think about John Lewis closing in York
The highlight of my days off shopping experience was a trip to Vangarde way. Grocery shopping at Marks & Spencer’s and then a walk into John Lewis and a coffee. It was a treasure trove for the things you need and those you didn’t know you needed. I have bought so much in there I would never purchase online .The staff were without fault and it was always a pleasure to go there. I shall miss the experience and wish the staff the very best . It’s too far to travel to Leeds .

Pat Wiseman

Tell us what you think about John Lewis closing in York
Will miss John Lewis so much. Not going to be easy getting to Leeds. Its so handy for popping into. It’s my go-to store for everything.

David Kirkham

Tell us what you think about John Lewis closing in York
It is the loss of a wonderful retail asset. We have been John Lewis customers – and fans – for years, and when the store opened in York we were very happy, indeed, as it meant no more additional trips to Newcastle or Sheffield when we wanted or needed specific John Lewis items. A shopping visit to a John Lewis store means immersion in a higher quality of retail experience – top quality items, courteous, smart and knowledgeable staff and great catering.

Pauline Wilson

Tell us what you think about John Lewis closing in York
The closure by John Lewis of it’s Vangarde store represents a huge loss for York – a city already in depressing decline. There has always been more to John Lewis department stores than mere retail outlets. I shall miss the relaxing ambience, sense of expectation and discovery. Online shopping can never replace that. Really, I just love the place and taking it from us will surely hasten York’s downward spiral. Think creatively John Lewis before any more damage is done. Invest and innovate – do not destroy an institution that matters to people just when they need some hope for the future.

Maureen Halford

Tell us what you think about John Lewis closing in York
I am not surprised. Shopping has changed. I am sorry that the jobs will be lost. I would have liked to see the store move to a more central location.

Charles Oyston

Tell us what you think about John Lewis closing in York
Dumb move. Typical FD approach to a crisis with a knee jerk reaction rather than sitting down with the staff to investigate ways to re-invigorate the business
The store has been out on a limb due to lack of footfall because the development around it has been slow however consider this. The new football stadium , leisure complex, eateries, bowling alley , indoor golf etc will bring a huge , yes huge!! increase in footfall to the retail park : footfall that the store has been desperately needing for the past 7 years .
People are also itching to get out to shops again after lockdown and they will have money to spend and without doubt ,stay-cation will result in more visitors to the area. Your mission John Lewis is how to attract these visitors to your store.
Better advertising and marketing.
Your young , progressive staff at York make their store a pleasure to shop in but not enough people know about this.
Better advertising in the city to let visitors know that you’re there
Support your staff , keep this store running You owe it to them after such a horrendous year . They are more important than shareholders. They are your future
Don’t be premature. Keep faith in York

Mary Hawkesworth

Tell us what you think about John Lewis closing in York
Absolutely devastated! John Lewis at Vangarde has been a huge plus for the 8 years it’s been there. It is a very poor choice to close down a £15m outlet. And no, online shopping at a department store simply isn’t what they’re about. I also believe it will have a knock-on effect on the other shops there too. Shame on you.

Community contributor

Tell us what you think about John Lewis closing in York
It’s a crying shame such a lovely shop and asset to the city is to be closing, the loss of jobs to the area is terrible and my heart goes out to them. I’ve used the shop at the Vangarde centre many times so will miss not being able to buy from them. Hope something can be done so save this lovely shop.

Community contributor

Tell us what you think about John Lewis closing in York
Devastated that John Lewis York is closing. Can they please please reconsider? Take over a store in York city centre? Not only is the store itself irreplaceable but it adds another blow to the devastation of the retail atmosphere in York.

Community contributor

Tell us what you think about John Lewis closing in York
Such disappointing news. York needs a decent, comprehensive department store and if JL were to close then we would be left with nothing. It’s always busy, has fantastic access and service – it’s such an asset to the whole of York and surrounds. It is a real lifeline store and desperately needed to complement the rest of retail. Our niche independents are great – but there is a place for good department store too. I understand both that it’s one of the most profitable stores but with one of the highest rents for the JL estate – the council needs to think about the impact of the loss to their revenue stream and engage in decent negotiations to allow JL to stay.

Timm Hield

Tell us what you think about John Lewis closing in York
Closing York and Sheffield stores leaves only one John Lewis for the whole of Yorkshire! That’s six million people. Not only that, but being the biggest county, means travel is greater for us. Whitby to Leeds isn’t exactly a quick journey. Short-term thinking.

Jan Perry

Tell us what you think about John Lewis closing in York
Not everyone likes to shop online. I loved visiting John Lewis York, it was easier parking wise than going to Leeds. Every town has Next or M&S so why make a special visit to Monks Cross now? I fear its future and for all the staff who work there.

Jacqui Sanders

Tell us what you think about John Lewis closing in York
Very sad to see this lovely modern store close. The new car parking arrangements of max 4 hours has not helped. People come out for the day and need to shop then have coffee, then shop, then lunch, and more shopping. You can’t do all this in just four hours! No wonder sales have declined!

Community contributor

Tell us what you think about John Lewis closing in York
The departure of John Lewis from York is a disaster for both the public and John Lewis who will regret this move as the area’s population burgeons post -Covid.

Community contributor

Tell us what you think about John Lewis closing in York
We will miss the store immensely not only for its friendly welcoming staff but for everything it sold within it not only a store but a second home I feel gutted for the staff that area will go downhill rapidly

Vicky Boston

Tell us what you think about John Lewis closing in York
100% it was a beautiful place to work. Regularly customers would come from the coast/surrounding villages and use park and ride to spend the day in the city centre.

Community contributor

Tell us what you think about John Lewis closing in York
Devastated at your closure of York store. I visited regularly but will not travel to your Leeds store. Have lived in York 20 years and with your store at Vangarde have kept my shopping local and continue to do so.

Community contributor

Tell us what you think about John Lewis closing in York
I wrote a Google review yesterday to express my disappointment. It said:

Don’t close! I still have so much of my house to refurb with John Lewis stuff! The concessions are great, the convenience is excellent, and the staff are friendly. I go to this store regularly and stop for a mid shop coffee and cake. Please don’t make me travel all the way to Leeds, queue in traffic and pay city centre parking prices. I’m very gutted you’re closing.

And a few hours later they removed it

Dot

Tell us what you think about John Lewis closing in York
Yes I loved the light and airy store, friendly staff and welcoming shopping experience. York needs this store. We lost Debenhams and BHS, Outfit.
Please don’t fill the city with bargain retailers

Jenny cassidy

Tell us what you think about John Lewis closing in York
Waitrose could move into John Lewis so it is one big super store which would make more money like Marks & Spencer’s the store would thrive should they do this in York people shop for food and would buy other items too John Lewis really need to rethink this closure at Vangarde.

Kim murphy

Tell us what you think about John Lewis closing in York
What very bad news that the York branch of John Lewis is closing – a victim of Covid without even trying to recuperate!
Compared to the staffs loss my upset is trivial however it will never the less have an in pact on me. As a new guide dog owner I needed to find a sturdy yet fashionable pair of shoes to wear when out and about in different terrains with Jango. It may sound an easy task but the reality proved far from simple – too bulky, poor tread, not leather, no size 3 , heel too big, not comfy, far too ugly!- but then I found John Lewis own brand loafers – perfect! We ( Jango and I) have stepped out far and wide in a variety of colours and designs from JL and the thought of plastic trainers to replace them just doesn’t cut it!

Please include a photo with caption if you wish

Louise King

Tell us what you think about John Lewis closing in York
I have been a loyal customer since it opened and supported them well online over the last 12 months and feel my loyalty to them has been misplaced. I am not looking to transfer my custom to the Leeds store and will now look again back to Fenwicks and Browns in York, wish I’d never left them. Shame on John Lewis for treating their loyal partners, proud to wear the uniform and badge in such a despicable manner. Particularly just coming out of the worst year in living memory with extra hardship now heaped on hardship. And for what? The profitable York store has been sacrificed for the “flagship” Leeds store as has Sheffield.

Richard Gadd

Tell us what you think about John Lewis closing in York
My first thought is for the 290 partners in John Lewis, Vangarde, who may lose their jobs. Also to the numerous suppliers and contractors, who supported the store.

Personally, and as much as I admired the quality of the John Lewis brand, I’ve long had concerns about the viability, sustainability, and competitiveness of its business model. It’s simply too expensive for most people.

I believe the closure will have a significant impact on York, Vangarde, and the local community. I fear we may witness a similar degradation of Vangarde we witnessed of Monks Cross, an inevitability exacerbated by mid-managed LNER Stadium Project.

A truly sad period for the City of York, from which I do not anticipate there being a quick fix.

Deb Wood

Tell us what you think about John Lewis closing in York
Worst thing that could happen to Vangarde! The store will be greatly missed by thousands of customers, both local and those that travel to shop there. The staff are extremely well informed and friendly. It will be greatly missed. Online shopping doesn’t compare with the service and advice provided in store.

Jill Donaldson Hodges

Tell us what you think about John Lewis closing in York
Really sad about the John Lewis store closing in York. The online offer is fine but you need to see some items before ordering and it’s such a lovely, spacious shop to wander around. The quality is always excellent and there is a very good range of items. The partners are very helpful with great advice, are efficient and really know their stuff. We don’t have any other stores of that nature in the city. We have bought laptops, electric, soft furnishings, bedding, clothes, kitchen and baking items to name but a few from John Lewis. The store is irreplaceable – please reconsider ! We don’t have want to have to travel to Leeds ! York will be the poorer without John Lewis !

Carole Templeman

Tell us what you think about John Lewis closing in York
Very sad to hear this news I often case to York for the day from hull as we don’t have decent shops here so will be missed staff are first class.

Community contributor

Tell us what you think about John Lewis closing in York
We will be very sad to see it go as we invariably go there when we come to York. That said the store is not nearly as good as the Leeds store which must be twice the size and hence has far more stock on display. Will I travel to York in the future to shop? Sadly although the centre of York has charm I don’t think think that will be enough to lure me in to the shops. With the high number of bars it is becoming a stag / hen venue rather than a shopping centre.

Anthony Thompson

Tell us what you think about John Lewis closing in York
If John Lewis think that the York store will not be profitable when this awful period is behind us they are sadly mistaken.The York store and the other affected stores should have been given at least an 18 month chance to see if people actually wanted to visit and purchase after being locked down for a year. The founder John Spedan Lewis will be turning in his grave.

Community contributor

Tell us what you think about John Lewis closing in York
Very disappointed. Really love having a John Lewis store in York. Very surprised they are considering closing, as I’m sure the shopper catchment area is large. What would need to happen for them to reconsider?

Community contributor

Tell us what you think about John Lewis closing in York
Crying shame
Beautiful store
Easy parking
Helpful staff/partners

Community contributor

Tell us what you think about John Lewis closing in York
I will miss it and have missed it during the two lockdowns. It isn’t easy to buy furniture online, you need to test for comfort before it is delivered. And there were several lines that aren’t sold elsewhere locally. But I understand they are doing what they must in order to survive. Perhaps the store was too big.

Christine Packer

Tell us what you think about John Lewis closing in York
Very sad that John Lewis is closing. It sells things that I prefer to buy in person rather than on line, and I don’t order their goods on line for home delivery. I Would visit regularly to shop. A big loss to York.

Community contributor

Tell us what you think about John Lewis closing in York
So upset! After a year of not being able to physically see and touch items before buying it’s been what’s giving us all hope to be able to have human interaction. Online shopping is soul less! I’m not alone in really looking forward to getting out again.

Miss Heather Reed

Tell us what you think about John Lewis closing in York
I think it is a real shame the store is closing. What will make it even worse is having an empty shop which can a negative effect on the other shops close by. Because Waitrose and John Lewis are part of the same company why cannot it become a Waitrose/John Lewis store.
Other than that what about b&m taking over the unit. Many people miss the big b&m that was at clifton Moor which got ravaged by a fire. The other b&m at Clifton Moor and the one at Foss Island aren’t as good and i now don’t shop at b&m. Just my thoughts. Please pass this on.

Community contributor

Tell us what you think about John Lewis closing in York
One of the few stores that draws me to York. The city and other stores will suffer as a result of this closure.

David Mattock

Tell us what you think about John Lewis closing in York
This is what happens when you put an ex civil servant with no previous retail experience ( per wikipedia ) in charge of a national retailer. We have used the York John Lewis store for many major purchases. The type of items where you really need to see before buying to check if they will meet your requirements. The customer service and expertise of the staff was excellent. If all they are proposing us to do is to sell to us online unseen, they will need an excellent returns policy and expect us to go elsewhere. I will also miss the wonderful cheesecake in their cafe, the free parking and the demonstration bottle of Creed Aventis on the shelf at the bottom of the escalator.

Adam

Tell us what you think about John Lewis closing in York
Shocking Decision. Needs an immediate rethink. I’m a Customer that loves it.

Kayleigh

Tell us what you think about John Lewis closing in York
Absolutely devastated. I started work there the day it opened in 2014 and continued to work there till now. I’ve been in John Lewis stores for 9 years. The vanguard park has so much potential with all the up and coming venues opening after lockdown is lifted. The decision seems insane.

Community contributor

Tell us what you think about John Lewis closing in York
Devastated. John Lewis was one of the last remaining stores locally that you could feel and test baby products (prams, car seats etc) and built with safe and welcoming facilities for new mums in mind. The changing and feeding room was a safe-haven that will be very sadly missed, especially following the closure of Mothercare there is now nowhere. Sad day.

Joyce Burge

Tell us what you think about John Lewis closing in York
Extremely disappointed. Lovely store. Nothing else like it here. Although the store in Leeds is lovely there is parking to pay for and the city centre is not an attractive place. Why should they have a store but not us? I was so happy when the store opened but now there will be a sad empty space which will no longer be John Lewis. I buy at the local Waitrose store but there will be something missing without the John Lewis store.

Sally Burgin

Tell us what you think about John Lewis closing in York
Will really miss this wonderful store, went there every week, there is nothing else like it in York. Definitely won’t be travelling to Leeds as the York store was so convenient. Absolutely gutted….

Community contributor

Tell us what you think about John Lewis closing in York
Extremely disappointed. This was always billed as a click and collect destination rather than a store but loved shopping there and the cafe too. Think they have let their customer base down.

Nick Taylor

Tell us what you think about John Lewis closing in York
This is a sad day. I was part of the original team when the store opened but I think so much money has been wasted especially in the changing of the name to John Lewis and Partners . I am sure that the staff who work there would have preferred to have a bonus in their pocket rather than wasting money on rebranding

Community contributor

Tell us what you think about John Lewis closing in York
Utterly ridiculous closing the York store. Another example of someone with absolutely no idea about business in the north of England. Saying that we still have stores in Leeds and Newcastle is a complete nonsense, as this is not convenient for people who live in rural areas around York. I do feel that Ms White will go down with the sinking ship that is John Lewis. What a shame for a lovely department store and a waste of money when (allegedly) the lease still has two years to run. This will be a huge loss for the area in so many ways.

Community contributor

Tell us what you think about John Lewis closing in York
I can’t believe the York store won’t be reopening. York waited so long for John Lewis to arrive, only for it to be taken away, a few short years later. The store has something for everyone and our city won’t be the same without it.

Robert Sefton

Tell us what you think about John Lewis closing in York
This is a disaster for York and it’s people – it was a pleasure to shop at Vangarde – the ease of parking and the choice of shops made a great shopping day out – J L reconsider.

Community contributor

Tell us what you think about John Lewis closing in York
Very sad news to hear that John Lewis in York will be closing. Leeds and Manchester are along way to go. Will miss the convenience of having such a prestigious store nearby. I wonder what will happened to it? Perhaps a much larger Waitrose.

Community contributor

Tell us what you think about John Lewis closing in York
I live in Driffield and buy most of my household items from John Lewis, York. John Lewis is the nearest department store to all of us in the North of Eastriding. Scarborough, Bridlington and Hull have lost major department stores. I feel now all us adult have to sit at home and order on line, which is not ideal when wanting to buy sofas, televisions, curtains and not to mention as i only work part-time the enjoyment of shopping in store for clothes and having lunch in your restaurant. (Its about the only place my husband will shop at). I usually buy all birthday and christmas presents from you, but sadly will not buy online as i feel we all need to get out and about mentally. I will not be travelling to your other major shops as i feel the distance is too far. Lets hope they will reconsider, otherwise i can see the whole of vanguard going, as have Laura Ashley. I feel the 50+ age group are struggling to find good quality clothing and household goods. Fingers crossed x

Janice Mary Townend

Tell us what you think about John Lewis closing in York
Absolutely shocking news. Incomprehensible that a decision has been taken to close a store serving such a wide area. We travel from Scarborough to the Vangarde store, we will not be travelling to Leeds and do not like shopping on line. We prefer to see what we are buying. There is no sense to this decision taken at this time during a pandemic. It would have been prudent to see what happens post pandemic. We have fully furnished our four homes with all goods from John Lewis. Sack the person who made this decision. From an extremely dissatisfied and very disappointed life long customer.

Community contributor

Tell us what you think about John Lewis closing in York
It provided good quality products and services and was a jewel in the crown of York’s retail offering. I always managed to find unusual well designed items not available elsewhere. I shall miss the store as will many others in York. I shall not be shopping at its Leeds store because of the cost of parking in Leeds and to quite honest I find the Leeds road system utterly baffling. Even my satnav can’t cope with it. Vangarde and Monks Cross is becoming a retailing desert.

Gez Hills

Tell us what you think about John Lewis closing in York
Utterly flabbergasted. Yes we buy on line but equally enjoy looking at, touching items, engaging with the knowledgeable and friendly staff, and actually buying at JL here in York. A sad day. Hopefully they can look again and reconsider.

Community contributor

Tell us what you think about John Lewis closing in York
Disappointed they haven’t had the vision to include a Waitrose on the ground floor to increase footfall and sales. Internet shopping is all very well, but you can’t feel the quality online. Think they should reconsider, gutted.

Diane Mills

Tell us what you think about John Lewis closing in York
Devastating news. I will miss this shop tremendously. It was so convenient and I shopped there every week. Missed it so much during lockdown and was looking forward to shopping there soon. Can’t get to Leeds or Manchester, so I am devastated. The staff were fabulous and always helpful. Please re-think JL. York has lost so many good shops, to lose this one is really dreadful.

Howard Simms

Tell us what you think about John Lewis closing in York
I expected the store to close but remain very disappointed. I believe the expectation the business will move to Leeds is wishful thinking. Click and collect is available on lower value purchases with competitors but the decision to purchase was always about the JL experience and in store advise which will not be replaced by online shopping for expensive items. For me and family, JL was anchor store at Vangarde.
therefore our visits will be much less. Additionally, Leeds Store is a destination whereas York was accessible and convenient. I use Waitrose but this will always be a supermarket not a departmental store.

Sue Law

Tell us what you think about John Lewis closing in York
I am really sorry John Lewis in York is closing, we have bought a lot of electric/ white goods here.

Jayne Pateraki

Tell us what you think about John Lewis closing in York
I am devastated. I loved visiting the store and browsing at leisure! The kitchen department amazing and it was lovely being able to chat to staff who were knowledgeable re products etc. Very sad news