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John Lewis in Ashford will reopen on Thursday, July 30

A huge John Lewis store has escaped the chop and will reopen later this month.

Ashford's two-storey 'at home' branch has remained closed since lockdown was eased, sparking fears it would stay permanently shut.

Ashford's John Lewis store has been shut since lockdown started
Ashford's John Lewis store has been shut since lockdown started

But bosses now say the Fougeres Way shop, which created 125 jobs when it opened in 2013, will welcome customers again on Thursday, July 30.

However, eight other stores – including two full-size department stores in Birmingham and Watford – will not reopen, putting 1,300 jobs at risk.

Four 'at home' shops in Croydon, Newbury, Swindon and Tamworth will also remain closed, as well as two travel hub shops at Heathrow and St Pancras.

Sharon White, chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, said: “Closing a shop is always incredibly difficult and today’s announcement will come as very sad news to customers and partners.

"However, we believe closures are necessary to help us secure the sustainability of the partnership – and continue to meet the needs of our customers however and wherever they want to shop.

Inside Ashford's John Lewis
Inside Ashford's John Lewis

"Redundancies are always an absolute last resort and we will do everything we can to keep as many partners as possible within our business."

In May, KentOnline revealed how The Range had dropped plans to open a huge shop on a new retail park next to John Lewis.

The national homeware giant was expected to fill a store on the yet-to-be-built Drovers Retail Park, but it has now been replaced by discount retailer Home Bargains.

A Costa Coffee drive-thru and five other shops are also planned.

Read more: All the latest news from Ashford

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