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Simons Group completes work on new Waitrose and John Lewis 'At Home' stores in Horsham

Simons Group has completed work on the new  John Lewis ‘At Home‘ and Waitrose in Horsham, Sussex, which opened its doors to the public on Thursday 18th June.

The works carried out by Simons, starting in August 2014, have involved a new 43,000 sq ft John Lewis ‘At Home’ and a 42,250 sq ft Waitrose store, joined by a main atrium. Perforated front elevation cladding looks onto a paved Car Park with planter features. Additional works included demolition, creating a retaining wall, earthworks and ground works, steelwork, roofing, cladding, air test and a host of external works surrounding the site.

The Horsham ‘At Home’ branch will feature the first ever Home Hub, a dedicated area bringing together all of John Lewis’s home design services, and showcasing the retailer’s home interior products through a display of 11 room sets. In addition, the branch will offer customers an edited selection of 16,000 products across furniture, furnishing accessories, homeware, technology and nursery departments.

Waitrose will include new concepts and services, including a juice bar, wine and beer bar, a new bakery and an extensive wine department. The store will also feature new eat-in areas where customers will be able to enjoy tapas, deli platters and freshly baked goods. The development has brought about a total of 217 jobs -  97 roles at John Lewis at home, and 120 at the re-located Waitrose shop.

During construction the team worked with the local scouts group, helping to relocate the scout headquarters and providing unused materials from sites. Simons has been keeping in touch with the community throughout the construction process via online channels and newsletters delivered by the local scouts, as part of the agreed collaboration.

The project team has been on hand to answer queries directly throughout, providing updates to interested parties and even assisting with job applications for the store. As a registered project of the Considerate Constructors Scheme, helping to improve the image of the construction industry, the team’s efforts were duly recognised with an impressive score of 43/50 and achieving 10/10 for the health and safety category.

Tom Robinson, Chief Executive of Simons Group said:

“I am immensely proud of our team who have delivered two fantastic new stores.  The achievement is magnified by challenges of tight deadlines, restricted access and some incredibly unforgiving ground conditions created by periods of heavy rain on site over the 10 month project. Providing a strong retail offer and property solutions for such valued customers continues to be a main priority for Simons. We will reflect on this accomplishment, here in Horsham, and look forward to embedding our learning into future projects.”

Waitrose Director of Development, Nigel Keen, said:

"It's the realisation of a long-standing ambition to bring the very best of the John Lewis Partnership to Horsham. The multi-million pound commitment we have made underlines our absolute confidence in the town centre and we are proud that we will be able to play a role within that. We want to help Horsham continue to thrive and believe we have delivered a fantastic new retail development which can be a catalyst to bring even more visitors and investment to the town."

Tim Harrison, Store Development Director at John Lewis, added:

“We’re proud to introduce the second ever co-located John Lewis ‘At Home’ and Waitrose shops to Horsham. The development will see John Lewis and Waitrose become truly integrated by giving customers the opportunity to browse both shops in one trip, as well as providing a fully integrated back of house via shared locker rooms, offices, dining space and loading bay - the first example in the history of the Partnership.”

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