Basingstoke's branch of John Lewis is set to reopen on Monday after four months.

The news came as a relief to staff following the announcement last week that 1,300 jobs were at risk.

The popular department store announced it was to close eight stores including branches in Newbury and Swindon.

Basingstoke was one of the "lucky ones", according to marketing manager Ann Burchett.

She said after months of staff working in the community sewing scrubs, delivering Waitrose food or taking part in other worthwhile causes, employees are preparing to get back to work on Monday. 

Basingstoke Gazette:

The store, located within the Waitrose in Basing View, will reopen at 10am on Monday, July 13. 

After months of working in the community sewing scrubs or delivering for Waitrose or other worthwhile causes our Partners are busy getting everything ready to welcome our customers back! Monday 13th at 10am.

Ann told The Gazette they were feeling lucky but sad for their colleagues in other stores. She said she hoped some staff members from Newbury would be able to join them in Basingstoke.

Over the past week, employees have been preparing for Basingstoke’s reopening.

Basingstoke Gazette:

Basingstoke Gazette:

She said: “We’ve had everyone back in it’s been all anti-disinfection and health and safety. We’ve been practising the new queuing system and have all the relevant PPE ready.”

The marketing manager said: “It’s really important to us that customers feel safe. We’ll have a procedure in place where customers can give us feedback and we will be taking it very seriously. We want people to feel safe and get it right.”

Ann praised the efforts of Basingstoke employees who had used their time away from the store for good.

One employee named Chloe has been making scrubs for the NHS while Emily has been delivering food for Waitrose.

Ann said: “Lots of people have been doing amazing things.”

Basingstoke Gazette: