THE arrival of John Lewis in Exeter has been looked forward to for many years – and now it seems that there will be two, albeit briefly.
As John Lewis Exeter prepares to open in Sidwell Street on Friday, October 12, it is understood that the retailer is aiming to open a temporary store, known as a "pop-up", at 194 High Street.
Next to Parliament Street, it is understood that the shop will only be open for six weeks in the run up to the opening of the main store.
The retailer has applied to the city council for planning permission for a new sign on the shop. The building is Grade II listed and is within the city's central conservation area.
According to the planning application there is no intention to change the inside of the store which has been occupied by Nickleby's, a men's clothing store.
In documents submitted to accompany the application, it is stated that: "The upgrade and re-branding of the signs at these premises is being undertaken to coincide with the temporary lease of the unit.
"However, this does not involve any structural redevelopment of the building itself. We are planning purely to replace existing sign with new branding. We have taken a sympathetic consideration for the style and position of this building, while also giving a fresh new image to the premises.
"Although this sign is only required for a duration of six weeks, the occupiers are very aware of this prestigious historical building and its architectural interest. They are very keen to keep all features and create an image that fits in with the current surrounding area.
"The access will not be altered in any way."
It is unclear at this stage exactly what the temporary shop will offer.
To celebrate the fact that Waitrose has been part of the John Lewis Partnership for 75 years, the Exeter store is looking for what it calls a "chunky project" to become involved in.
Nick Davis, the store's manager, said: "It could be painting and decorating, it could be a large gardening project but we want people to write in and tell us what project they have that we could help them with.
"If some materials were needed for the project we could look into that but the main thing is that we want to donate hours that would be worked by our staff."
Ideally the project would be something that would be done in the autumn and over a couple of days.
If your community group or organisation is working on a project which could do with a bit of extra manpower contact Waitrose Exeter via the welcome desk at the front of the store or write to Mr Davis at Waitrose Exeter, Gladstone Road, Exeter EX1 2ED.