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John Lewis’ ‘digital first’ future

The John Lewis Partnership has outlined the progress of its strategic review (announced earlier this year) via a letter to all partners from chairman Sharon White. The letter acknowledges changing shopping habits (particularly with younger people) and the acceleration of online retailing due to the pandemic.

Sharon states: ‘We John Lewis to be a 60% online retailer, from 40% pre-Covid-19; and Waitrose to rise above 20%, from 5%.’

The retailer envisages John Lewis as ‘the go to brand for life’s big moments,’ including ‘first home, first day at university, wedding or civil partnership’. There will be a strong focus on Home – with a new home collection and expanded gift lists launching this autumn.

Sharon describes the new home collection as offering ‘more exciting and inspirational design; more affordable ‘entry point’ pricing; stronger ‘curation’ so that shoppers can find what they want easily; and more local assortments that reflect the diversity of our customers.’

John Lewis will ‘become digital first’, with Sharon emphasising that: ‘Shops will always be crucial to the brand but they will be in support of online.’

Over the next five years the retailer expects to ‘rebalance’ its shop estate to ensure it has the ‘right space in the right locations where people want to shop.’ This includes incorporating John Lewis Home into Waitrose, and experimenting with store formats.

‘Shops will showcase our brilliant products – displaying great design with more space given over to experiences that cannot be found anywhere else,” says Sharon.


Top: More John Lewis Home products will be available in Waitrose stores.

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