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News - 31 October 2004
|Is Crawley's gain Brighton's loss?|
John Lewis goes to Crawley
John Lewis Department Stores expressed an interest in expanding in the south east two years ago and looked at a number of locations including Brighton & Hove.
But John Lewis has just announced that Crawley will be their preferred location when the northern part of the town centre is redeveloped between now and 2010.
Crawley Council leader Chris Redmayne said of the decision: -“It reflects the tremendous retail success we have had to date and marks a sea change for the town as we move towards becoming a major shopping and leisure destination in the region” Big retail players like John Lewis can transform the fortunes of a city increase its catchment area considerably. Unfortunately they rarely make public their reasons for not choosing a location but poor transport infrastructure is likely to be one of the elements that made Brighton a less attractive prospect than Crawley.
Crawley has long been a competitor of Brighton for shoppers and this new development just 30 minutes drive away will certainly improve the town’s offer considerably. Together with the, as yet speculative plans to redevelop Eastbourne town centre (see earlier story in Knowledgebase) Brighton needs to keep a close watching brief on its position in the south east retail firmament.
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