John Lewis Partnership has launched a hunt for contractors to support a £300m-a-year expansion plan for its department stores and supermarket chain Waitrose.

The firm plans to double the floor space for both arms of the business within 10 years and will spend around £300m a year on construction over the period.

Tony Jacob, head of construction management for JLP, said: “We want people with major project experience, a very strong fit-out background but also an understanding of construction.”

Jacob said he had a list of contractors to approach but added his “door was open” to interested firms.

He added that JLP would continue working with the 12 contractors it currently uses, including Bovis Lend Lease, Kier and Wates.

JLP has 26 department stores and 187 Waitrose supermarkets and will expand both through a mixture of new builds and acquisitions of rival shops. In the past four years JLP has bought about 60 shops from companies like Morrisons and Somerfield.

Key projects for John Lewis over the past year have included a major refurbishment of the Oxford Street store, the relocation of stores in Cambridge and Liverpool, and a new department store in Leicester.