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John Lewis outlines five-year digital-heavy strategy

By Huw Hughes

16 Oct 2020


The John Lewis Partnership, which comprises British retailers John Lewis and Waitrose, has outlined a new five-year digital-focused strategy which aims to see the company reach 400 million pound profits in five years.

The company said the plan is “self-funding and takes into account uncertain trading” - a priority considering the country’s current retail backdrop plagued with a mix of Brexit and Covid-19 unpredictability.

A main focus of the new plan is the expansion of digital, virtual and delivery services to keep up with rapidly-changing consumer habits. The company previously announced plans to become a 60-70 percent online retailer by 2025, and on Friday announced as part of that it will be investing in data analytics and loyalty plans across its brands. “Substantial customer research is underway to inform our new value pledge, which will be announced next year,” the retailer said.

The company will also be further building on its app, investing in extra services such as personal styling, home design and the John Lewis Virtual Christmas shop, and will be expanding its Click & Collect service, which will soon have 1,000 locations across the UK.

The partnership expects to see profits reach 200 million pounds in the next two years and 400 million pounds by 2025 with its new strategy. It aims to achieve this by saving 300 million per year by 2022, “making our operations and head offices simpler and more efficient”.

Digital and sustainable intiatives key to new strategy

The retailer also announced a heightened focus on sustainable and ethical initiatives with a number of new targets, including bringing forward its net zero carbon goal by 15 years to 2035. As part of its ‘made to last’ initiative, the company aims to have a ‘buy back’ or ‘take back’ solution by 2025, and for all key raw materials in its own-brand products to be made from sustainable or recycled sources by 2025.

The company also pledged to recruit people coming out of the care system and to pay employees the voluntary Real Living Wage using the profit it expects to make.

Sharon White, chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, said: “We’ve seen five years of change in the past five months and Waitrose and John Lewis have responded with great agility. Our plan means the John Lewis Partnership will thrive for the next century, as it has the last.

“We’re adapting successfully to how customers want to shop today, while showing the Partnership is improving lives and building a more sustainable future. We’ll share our success with our customers, partners - who own the business - and our communities.”

Photo credit: John Lewis media gallery

John Lewis