Burges Salmon helps John Lewis Partnership sub-let ‘one-of-a-kind’ 1m sq ft distribution centre

September 10, 2021

Retail group the John Lewis Partnership has been advised by Bristol-headquartered national law firm Burges Salmon on a major property deal to support the rapid growth of its online sales offering Johnlewis.com.

The partnership, which also owns the John Lewis stores and upmarket Waitrose supermarket chain, is sub-letting a 1m sq ft distribution centre in Milton Keynes from Tesco, escribed by the partnership’s executive director of operations Andrew Murphy as a ‘one-of-a-kind’. 

The Fenny Lock site, which will be its second-largest distribution centre, will be used to fulfil customer orders for fashion, small home furnishing items and technology products.

John Lewis will be investing in the site’s automation capability to support future growth and, over the next two years, plans to recruit around 500 more staff to work at the distribution centre. The site is intended to commence operations in mid-2022.

Senior portfolio manager in the partnership’s group property team, Nigel Harris, said: “Fenny Lock is an important milestone, which will ensure the continued growth of Johnlewis.com.

“Burges Salmon’s support on this transaction has been invaluable and the smooth execution of the deal, under significant time pressures, is testament to their excellent service and legal advice.”

The Burges Salmon team advising the John Lewis Partnership was led by real estate partner Richard Clark and senior associate Will Hall.

Richard said: “This is an exciting transaction for John Lewis and we are extremely pleased to be able to continue supporting the Partnership on the acquisition of strategic distribution sites as the online growth strategy is executed.

“It was fantastic to work collaboratively with the legal and property team once again to deliver an important result for the business.”

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