COMMENT: New John Lewis/Waitrose - hugely impressive

Jo Thomas (Waitrose Store manager) and Nigel Davis (John Lewis Store Manager) open the new stores in Horsham. SR1514070. Pic Steve Robards SUS-150618-102012001
Jo Thomas (Waitrose Store manager) and Nigel Davis (John Lewis Store Manager) open the new stores in Horsham. SR1514070. Pic Steve Robards SUS-150618-102012001

Wow. We were promised so much with the new John Lewis and Waitrose store in Horsham.

And it has lived up to every expectation - and more.

The John Lewis Partnership is just that. A business owned by the staff with the prime objective of serving its customers with distinction.

Judging by the initial reaction from shoppers, it is again living up to its ideals of excellence.

Horsham District Council and in particular its Leader Ray Dawe were right to insist that the store was built in the town centre and not on the outskirts at perhaps Broadbridge Heath.

The council has worked hard to secure this development - under chief executive Tom Crowley - and we congratulate them for it.

The result is hugely impressive and will help to ensure an even more vibrant future for a town which is one of the most desirable in which to live.

Well done.

Of course, we await with interest the fate for the former Waitrose site at Piries Place. It’s vital this part of the town remains engaging too and does not become a remote appendix.

The vitality of the shopping quarter at East Street depends on this too.

But that is for tomorrow.

Today we celebrate with shoppers that they have one of the best new retail offerings in the South.

And we applaud John Lewis and Waitrose and all their staff for making it so special.

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