Watford’s shopping scene has taken a hit after John Lewis announced it would be permanently shutting its store in the town.

The department store in intu Watford was one of eight stores that were deemed “financially challenged” by John Lewis, even before the coronavirus lockdown.

The closure of the store is a blow for the town, with John Lewis, which started out as Trewins, being in Watford for more than 100 years.

When it moved to the Harlequin Centre (now intu Watford) in the 1990s, it became one of the shopping centre’s most popular stores.

But John Lewis now says that in recent times footfall has been low and costs have stacked up – despite paying no rent – which contributed to their decision to close the store.

Read more:

Ultimately, the decision was made to close the Watford branch along with seven others  to “secure the business’s long-term future and respond to customers’ shopping needs”.

But despite the closure, the general manager of intu Watford Vicki Costello says she is “confident” that something will be able to replace the store.

See intu's statement in full on John Lewis closing its Watford store

She said: "The John Lewis store is a prime spot within a popular centre, and we are confident that we will find an alternative use for this space, providing something new and exciting for our visitors to enjoy."

What would you like to see replace John Lewis in intu Watford? Vote in our poll below to have your say.

If you have any other suggestions make sure to leave a comment below.