John Lewis was the "anchor" for the shopping development around the new New Street Station. This news is utterly devastating, both for the staff, the city and fans of the store.
However we have a Council that lacks an overall plan for a revived and bustling city centre. It has been utterly complacent while it has laid plans to restrict access to the centre. Visitors have been told not to bring their cars to the city centre - but have not been told where they can put them. There is no plan for comprehensive Park and Ride as found in other cities.
The virus crisis has aggravated the challenge, raising questions about the huge investment in office blocks. Millions are being spent on "prettification" schemes for the city centre - but this is pointless if it ceases to be somewhere people want to go.