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John Lewis gets ready to open in Exeter

John Lewis will opens its doors in Exeter on Friday Photo: John Lewis

The finishing touches are now being made to Exeter's new John Lewis ahead of its opening on Friday morning.

The stock's been laid out on the store's five trading floors and a team of 300 staff have been recruited to work there.

The store will be the 38th John Lewis outlet to open in the UK.

The Exeter store, which is rapidly taking shape on the site of the former Debenhams outlet in Sidwell Street, is set to draw shoppers from across the South West. At present, the nearest John Lewis store is at the Cribbs Causeway shopping centre in Bristol.

At 65,000 sq ft, the shop is less than half the size of an average John Lewis department store.

But a John Lewis spokesperson told us it will be one its most advanced, with interactive information screens and digital store guides.

The store features “the full John Lewis assortment including fashion, beauty, consumer electronics, home and nursery”, she said.

Attracting the upmarket department store is part of the Exeter's strategy to become Devon's top shopping destination.

But will it be the game changer and, if so, where does that leave Plymouth? Jonathan Gibson reports on a tale of two cities: