The John Lewis Partnership (JLP) has confirmed the first locations where it intends to build hundreds of rental homes as part of the British firm's plans to expand outside of traditional stores.
JLP, which runs the John Lewis department store and supermarket Waitrose, is pushing forward with proposals for three projects in London and Reading.
The three proposed sites include building over Waitrose shops in Bromley and West Ealing in Greater London, as well as replacing a vacant John Lewis warehouse in Mill Lane, Reading.
Although full details have not yet been disclosed, it is believed the sites will create a few hundred homes and would be built for different sized households.
The group said detailed designs will not be revealed until later this year to allow residents to help shape the plans, adding local residents in Bromley and West Ealing will be invited to several rounds of public consultation over the coming months to discuss the redevelopment.
Planning applications for Bromley and West Ealing will be submitted next year following local feedback, while a period of public consultation is expected to take place for the Reading site later this year.
The projects are part of the group's target to deliver 10,000 homes over the next decade, with 5,000 of these to come from schemes on the retail group's own property portfolio.
JLP added the move will also help its target to secure 40% of its profits outside of retail by 2030.
The growth strategy comes as the company faced significant losses following the pandemic, driven by its department store arm, which saw it close a number of stores and axe thousands of jobs.
Nina Bhatia, executive director for strategy and commercial development at JLP, said: "Everything people love about our brand — quality, trust and service — we want to bring to the experience of renting a home with us.
"Our role as developer and operator, as well as an already established local business and employer, signals our ambition to bring long-term value to each of these communities.
"Helping to create homes has always been at the heart of what we do and we now have a unique opportunity to use our expertise and skills in new ways to deliver much-needed new housing."