A petition has started in St Albans for the city’s local BHS store to be taken over by John Lewis.
The news follows the announcement that BHS has gone into liquidation after failing to secure a buyer.
Numerous attempts were made to rescue BHS, which went into administration in April, but the bidding process has not amounted to a buyout.
The petition was set up on June 3 following a debate on St Albans’ Facebook group St Albans Present Memories about what people would like to see the large BHS store on St Peter’s Street replaced with.
Nick Johnson, of Harpenden, who started the petition, told the Herts Advertiser: “I thought it might be interesting to see how many people were in favour [of a John Lewis] so I started the petition – and I’ve been impressed by the numbers.”
“For me, St Albans has the right socio-economic mix, population size and footfall for a department store like John Lewis but we don’t have one in town,” he added.
“The nearest department store is Luton, and the nearest John Lewis is probably Welwyn.”
But some are opposed to the idea. Nick continued: “The main argument against the idea seems to be that John Lewis wouldn’t take on the premises as the floor space is too small for them – but perhaps a concept store similar to their shop in St Pancras station would work.”
Despite calls for a John Lewis to be built in St Albans, the retail chain doesn’t have any current plans to move to the area.
A John Lewis spokesperson said: “John Lewis is often linked to retail developments and we are flattered by Mr Johnson’s petition, but unfortunately we have no current plans to open a shop in St Albans.”