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UK’s John Lewis identifies rental home locations in diversification push -Breaking


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO – People line up outside John Lewis in London to buy seasonal merchandise, on December 27, 2021. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

LONDON, (Reuters) – John Lewis Partnership in Britain announced that it will build three rental houses at its first three sites. It is part of its diversification strategy to earn 40% from other businesses by 2030.

John Lewis and Waitrose are owned by the employee-owned partnership. It announced last July that it will build 10,000 rentals homes over the next decade, half of which would come from the existing portfolio.

The company announced that it had identified the top three sites for the construction of Waitrose stores in Bromley in London and West Ealing (London) as well as the replacement of a John Lewis warehouse in Reading.

Homes would be designed to accommodate different sizes of households. John Lewis will furnish homes for residents, and they would be available to them on a short- and long term basis. In the months ahead, public consultations will take place.

Nina Bhatia is John Lewis’ executive director of strategy and commercial development. She stated that “helping to create houses has always been at our core and we now have an unique opportunity to utilize our expertise and skill in new ways for delivery much-needed housing.”

There is a severe shortage of housing in Britain. Over the past decade prices have shot up, making properties unaffordable for many first-time home buyers.

John Lewis Partnership was hard hit by the COVID-19 epidemic. The company suffered a huge loss and had to shut down stores and reduce jobs.

Sharon White, Chairman, presented a 5-year plan for recovery in 2020. It included diversifying into product rental, property development and resale as well expanding its financial services company and looking at more partners.