Having hit the ground running since being appointed chairman of John Lewis & Partners earlier this year, Dame Sharon White recently unveiled the company’s strategic review that promises “green shoots in performance over the next nine to 12 months, and profits recovering over the next three to five years.”
There will be a spotlight on home and nursery – the company’s traditional strengths – with a new home collection and expanded gift lists launching this Autumn. The emphasis will be on inspirational design, more affordable entry point pricing, stronger curation and greater local product selections to reflect the diversity of the brand’s customers.
Looking ahead, the retailer hopes that John Lewis will become the ‘go to’ brand for a first child, first home, first day at university, wedding or civil partnership.
Commenting on the fact that customers are increasingly shopping online – in part due to the pandemic, but also based on the shopping habits of younger people – Dame Sharon emphasised that John Lewis will become digital first, explaining that while shops will always be crucial to the brand they will be in support of online. She stated: “we expect John Lewis to be a 60% online retailer from 40% pre-Covid-19.”
Over the next five years the retailer is also planning 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 vice-versa, as well as experimenting with store formats. The retailer is also considering turning empty department stores into affordable housing.
Top: A strategic review has been undertaken for both John Lewis and Waitrose.