Photography: Jack Hobhouse

Around 10,000 new homes are set to be built on top of department store car parks, as John Lewis sets out plans to provide ready-furnished flats and houses in the UK.

After dismal reports on the company’s annual loss, as well as the lingering effects of lockdown, it’s perhaps no surprise that the retail brand is expanding into a new market.

Reports suggest the first John Lewis homes will be built in the southeast of England. However, the company says it may eventually build on new sites as well as converting pre-existing car parks.

And while John Lewis furniture might not be to Boris’s taste, the brand will allow residents to borrow pieces from its range of products or bring their own. John Lewis has already experimented with furniture rental in collaboration with Fat Llama, charging customers a monthly fee to borrow a range of pieces. The pilot version of the scheme proved exceptionally popular, with the whole collection rented within 48 hours of launching.

Further details on who will design the brand’s new property portfolio or when the first homes could be available are sparse. However, the company has said it has ‘big ambitions’ to help address the UK’s national housing shortage.

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