Retail bellwether John Lewis will this week open its latest store, in Leicester, but its managing director, Andy Street, has told The Independent on Sunday that the company's rapid UK expansion is set to be curtailed by the credit crunch.

'Yes, the brakes could be put on our roll-out of stores across the UK, but it's not down to us – it's down to the property companies,' said Street.

John Lewis typically comes into a new development as a key anchor tenant, but with property firms scaling back their own plans, the retailer could be forced to reduce the number of new stores it is planning. It has 11, including branches in Cardiff and Northern Ireland, in the pipeline.

Independent on Sunday