150 years of John Lewis 

This year, the department store chain celebrates its 150th anniversary. Katherine Mitchell, buyer at John Lewis, talks to us about this amazing adventure.

In 2014, John Lewis is celebrating its 150th anniversary. What is the secret of such a long track record? 


John Lewis strives to find the best from around the world and present it to their customers in an affordable way. The founder of the Partnership, John Spedan Lewis, paid for buyers to travel to find new and exciting products and this continues today.

A flagship Oxford Street retail empire, John Lewis features among the UK’s favourite department stores - Why do you think this is? What is the fundamental difference between John Lewis and its major competitors? 

John Lewis is a Partnership and is owned by the staff, known as Partners. This affects every aspect of business from day to day interactions and longer term investments. This is largely unique as a business model and is the biggest difference between JL and the rest of the UK retail market. 

As a buyer, how do you keep customers informed of special offers, great ideas and what may or may not appeal to your customers?

Our website and branches are a great showcase for our products and our catalogue publications are a great way of engaging customers with emerging trends in home interiors.

John Lewis has become an iconic British institution in foreign markets. When can we expect to see John Lewis abroad? 

We are selling in South Korea through a department store group and we sell some products internationally through the UK website. We also opened a shop this year in Heathrow Terminal 2 which will give us a good idea of the appetite for our brand from overseas visitors.

www.johnlewis.com

From beyond | Published on: 24 November 2014
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