John Lewis boss backs Norwich’s pedestrianisation vision

Andy Street, the managing director of John Lewis in the Norwich store. Photo : Steve Adams

Andy Street, the managing director of John Lewis in the Norwich store. Photo : Steve Adams - Credit: Steve Adams

The boss of John Lewis has backed Norwich's pedestrianisation proposals, hoping it will bring more shoppers into the city centre.

Plans are progressing on traffic changes which would affect areas including Westlegate, Golden Ball Street and All Saints Green.

Having backed the idea of a city centre make-over for 10 years, John Lewis managing director Andy Street said the city-council scheme would connect the store with the rest of the city.

It came as Norwich's John Lewis store reported a 14pc surge in online shoppers thanks to the popularity of click and collect.

Mr Street said: 'There's got to be a reason to come to the city centre and part of it is how attractive a place a city centre is.

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'The interesting thing in East Anglia is we are growing our online sales by 14pc a year. Customers have the convenience of online and this is really where we make the statement about what John Lewis is all about.'

As online sales continue to rocket, the 'man on the moon' in John Lewis's Christmas advert campaign has been pulling the heartstrings of millions worldwide.

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Mr Street, said: 'We launched [the advert] on Friday and had 60 million views on YouTube. It's a bit of a phenomenon internationally but it wouldn't be that if it didn't have a real meaning to it. We are working with Age UK to very much think about those people that don't have all the friends and family around them. They aren't men on the moon, but they are people we should think about at this time.'

This year's advert follows the story of a girl who spots an elderly man alone on the moon while using a telescope. She then delivers a present – a telescope – using balloons so he can see her and know he is not alone.

Richard Marks, head of branch at Norwich, said: 'Online has grown by 14pc, with click and collect continuing its popularity.'

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