John Lewis celebrates first Employee Ownership Day
John Lewis partners and branches across the country helped mark the UK's first national Employee Ownership Day yesterday.
They raised awareness of the employee-owned business model, of which John Lewis is the largest example, through promotional material, coverage in the retailer’s internal and external media, MPs' visits and table talker sessions with local businesses and customers.
Herbert Parkinson, John Lewis's filled products factory in Lancashire, even made an Employee Ownership cushion, to which the retailer’s chairman Sir Charlie Mayfield put the finishing stitches on Wednesday. He was visiting the branch as part of its diamond jubilee celebrations.
MPs' participation included a visit by Government Minister David Willetts to Waitrose in Havant and a visit by Shadow Minister Ian Murray to the Morningside branch.
The day was supported by the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills and the Employee Ownership Association of which Mayfield is president. He chaired a media lunch with leaders from employee-owned companies in London on Monday.
The EOA has a network of more than 150 companies with significant employee ownership and a sector of the economy worth more than £30 billion annually.
Charlotte Cool, the the John Lewis Partnership's head of public affairs, says: 'Employee Ownership Day was a fantastic opportunity for Partners to communicate directly with stakeholders across the country – from customers and suppliers to politicians – on a subject that's close to our hearts: the benefits of being an employee-owned business.'
Employee Ownership Day itself culminated in the EOA's Summer Dinner at the Houses of Parliament, whose 150 guests included John Lewis Oxford Street head of branch Simon Fowler, chair of the EOA since 2010, and partners from the flagship store.
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