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John Lewis to refurb with Styles

CONTRACTS - LONDON

FIT-OUT specialist Styles and Wood is set to bag a £100 million contract to refurbish the flagship London store of retailer John Lewis.

And the firm may also be in line for a further £20 million-worth of work in the capital at the Queen's grocer, Fortnum and Mason, in Piccadilly.

The John Lewis deal will see a complete overhaul of the building's interior which will take place over five years.

Work is due to start early next year if the John Lewis board decides to give the scheme the go-ahead in January.

Styles and Wood is keeping tightlipped over the work but the firm is believed to be the only one in the running.

One Christmas shopper said: 'It looks a bit run-down compared to the other ones on Oxford Street, which is surprising for such a prominent store. It could do with a face-lift.' The refurbishment of famous food store Fortnum and Mason will see architect Jestico + Whiles team up with project manager Davis Langdon to modernise the 1920s building.

The new design will include building an atrium in the centre of the store, with a grand spiral staircase providing access to all f loors. Five new restaurants will also be built.

Styles and Wood is going head to head with InteriorExterior and Bovis Lend Lease for the £20 million deal.

Bids went in last week with a decision expected to be made in the New Year.

Willmott Dixon had already built the extension added to the store in 1996 but declined to bid for the new refurbishment contract.

One insider said: 'This new deal is a management contract and that is why we decided not to get involved. When we worked on the store we simply did it all ourselves.' The refurbishment work will be done in phases so the store will remain open during construction work.

Fortnum and Mason has been based in Piccadilly since 1707. The present building dates back to 1926.