John Lewis is setting up a new IT and digital operation in Birmingham: the first of its kind for the retailer.
The Tech Hub, set to open in September, will focus on developing ‘innovative new technologies’. The facility will initially create four engineering roles. John Lewis will also work with several local universities to create part-time internship roles for young technologists, with recruitment to begin later this year.
Paul Coby, IT director of the department store group, said: “Our new Hub in Birmingham is about putting innovation and agility at the core of our business. We chose Birmingham because of the opportunities it offers as a growing tech city, with a wealth of skilled technology professionals and world class technical universities.”
Another factor for choosing the city was the opening of John Lewis’ regional flagship shop in central Birmingham last September.
The £35million store is the anchor tenant of the Grand Central retail development, directly above New Street Station. At 250,000sq ft, John Lewis Birmingham is one of the biggest John Lewis department stores in the UK.
The retailer describes the branch as its most innovative to date, having been chosen to debut several brand new services and concepts, including fashion and lifestyle concept loved&found, and the first John Lewis-branded spa.
Staff at Birmingham will the first to trial new ways of working developed by the Tech Hub.
In addition, regionally, John Lewis has a long established store in Solihull, an ‘at home’ shop in Tamworth and distribution centres at Magna Park. All of these locations can be used to pilot innovations developed in the Tech Hub.
John Lewis Birmingham is one of the biggest John Lewis department stores in the UK