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John Lewis’ Lisa Rutherford highlights challenges and opportunities

“The biggest challenge we are facing as we head into 2022 is the impact of all of the shipping delays we experienced at the back end of last year,” acknowledges Lisa Rutherford, category lead for Cookshop at John Lewis, adding: “We still have newness intended for 2021 to hit down.”

Above: Lisa Rutherford, John Lewis’ Cookshop category lead.
Above: Lisa Rutherford, John Lewis’ Cookshop category lead.

However, Lisa highlights the positive factors in receiving new ranges for the spring season: “The upside is that we will have a lot of great newness in 2022 and, with shops open during the first quarter vs being closed last year, it is an opportunity to showcase great product and inspire our customers.”

Recognising the impact of the supply chain issues across the housewares industry, Lisa comments: “Like everyone we are unsure when we will see the end of the shipping challenges we have had to face. This has forced us to evaluate our critical path and add in more time to ensure we get back on track with our buying cycle especially with seasonally critical lines.”

When asked to look back at the trends and developments of 2021, Lisa emphasises the continued importance of home entertaining, as well as cooking at home as more consumers spend time in their kitchens.

“We have seen customers be inspired by tablescapes and seen requests for product to support more adventurous cooking that may be from further afield – if they can’t literally travel overseas then they will create that moment at home,” Lisa reports. “Nicola, the John Lewis Tabletop lead has had great success with the Levantine collection which has also been well received in Waitrose too.”

Lisa expresses disappointment following the cancellation of Ambiente 2022 – noting: “As a new team (post restructure), we were very much looking forward to getting out to trade shows meeting key suppliers and exploring the new.” She accepts that sourcing new products is another challenge for 2022, stating: “We are keen to know what’s out there.”

* John Lewis’ Lisa Rutherford is one of the industry figures appearing in State of the nation in the next issue of Progressive Housewares magazine. For previous issues of Progressive Housewares, click HERE.


Top: A festive table setting by John Lewis, as featured in one of its Home Décor Ideas & Inspiration articles by interiors writer Helen Stone. Home entertaining had a positive impact on John Lewis’ sales in 2021.

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