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John Lewis Partnership unveils five-year plan

The John Lewis Partnership has unveiled its strategy for growing its John Lewis and Waitrose businesses over the next five years. This will include reaching a… View Article

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

John Lewis Partnership unveils five-year plan

The John Lewis Partnership has unveiled its strategy for growing its John Lewis and Waitrose businesses over the next five years. This will include reaching a target of £400 million profit by the end of the period.

The partnership said there will be a strong focus on offering customers quality and value for money and highlighted how its Waitrose Essentials range has seen growth of nearly 10% over the last six months.

Plans will include the relaunch of the John Lewis Home range in the spring and the introduction of more affordable price points. John Lewis will also be investing more in virtual services like personal styling, home design and a virtual Christmas shop to meet customers changing shopping habits. The partnership said it expects John Lewis to become a  60% to 70% online retailer by 2025.

In addition, Waitrose will aim to increase its  delivery capacity beyond 250,000 orders per week, up from 55,000 before the Covid-19 pandemic, as it looks to offer customers more convenience. It will also embark on new delivery partnerships like its trial with Deliveroo. Today, Waitrose has announced that 25 shops will join five other stores in the Deliveroo trial which it says has attracted new and younger customers to the supermarket.

The partnership will also be aiming to become more sustainable by bringing forward its ambition to be net zero carbon by 15 years to 2035. Looking at the individual retail businesses, Waitrose will be committing to source all products from net zero carbon UK farms 2035 and to halve food waste in its own operations and supply chain by 2030. Meanwhile, John Lewis will be aiming for all product categories to have a ‘buy back’ or ‘take back’ solution by 2025 and that all key raw materials in own-brand products will be from sustainable or recycled sources. In addition, the retailer is planning to develop sustainable rental and resale options for customers.

Other plans include a push to recruit people coming out of the UK care system to help them forge a career in the partnership and the promise to pay staff the voluntary Real Living Wage once the partnership has reached over £200 million in profit. It will also be aiming to pay a bonus when profits exceed £150 million and the partnership’s debt ratio falls below four times.

The partnership has committed to investing £1 billion over five years to accelerate its online business and transform its shops. It will also be aiming to save £300 million per year by 2022 by making its operations and head offices “simpler and more efficient”.

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.”

Both John Lewis and Waitrose will be adding more local assortments to their ranges to reflect the diversity of customers in a particular region. In addition, the partnership will look to develop innovative new services in areas like rental, recycling, savings, insurance and private rented and social housing.

Nina Bhatia, executive director of strategy and commercial development at the John Lewis Partnership, said: “This is a bold plan to grow our business and get us much closer to our customers. Waitrose and John Lewis are two of the country’s most trusted brands and we’ll offer the best products and customer service on the high street and online.”

“We’re creating new inspirational services for customers where strong ethical values and peace of mind matter, like reusing and recycling products, personal savings and rented housing. Our plans will firmly establish Waitrose and John Lewis as the go-to brands for customers that care about quality, value, and sustainability.”

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