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Turn BHS Romford in to a John Lewis store

This petition had 96 supporters

BHS closes its doors for the last time on Sunday 28th August 2016 and thoughts are already turning to what will replace the store in Romford’s Liberty Shopping Centre. The sad and rapid decline of BHS has led to one of Romford’s largest stores (and employers) closing its doors, leaving the employees of the Romford Branch with an uncertain future.

The store itself is quite a large unit, and as a local resident, I would like to see the unit occupied as soon as possible to ensure secure jobs and opportunities for the people of our community. With this in mind, I believe that whoever takes over this vacant unit should be an employer who can offer its work force long term stability. For example; I don’t believe that a pop-up Christmas shop or seasonal fireworks shop would be appropriate.

I also cite that Romford town centre plays host to an increasing number of low cost stores, such as B&M, as well as £1 stores or 99p stores and I believe that, whilst these stores do have value to our local community, too many of these low cost stores can be detrimental to the amount of visitors our town gets from local communities including Brentwood, Chelmsford and other parts of rural Essex.
With regards to the campaign, one of the main criticisms I had heard from people is that some of the community wouldn’t benefit from having a John Lewis in Romford because they cannot afford the prices of the store, but I believe that the entire community would benefit from having a well-established store on our doorstep. A company like John Lewis would provide secure jobs to the community, such as shop assistants, store managers, cleaners, stock assistants or security guards. I also cite that Romford plays host to a wide range of stores including Jewellers, Moss Bros, Marks and Spencer’s and stores like Superdry and Debenhams. These stores aren’t for everybody’s budget, but like £1 stores, they have an important role within our community. 

As things stand, if you wish to visit a John Lewis store then you have the option to travel to Westfield Stratford City or Bluewater Shopping Centre in Kent. Each of these stores can be hard to reach on peak shopping days, such as on weekends, as the roads are usually very busy.  You can get the train to Stratford and that takes around 20-25 minutes, but it’s a shame that business has to leave our local area in this way.

In Summary, I feel as though a store like John Lewis would make full use of the unit available to them, whilst providing long term job security for local people as well as an increased volume of shoppers into the Liberty Shopping Centre and the local area as a whole.  Romford is a fantastic, vibrant and up and coming town and I would love to see this well established company invest in our community, and for our community to welcome John Lewis in return.

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