The institution otherwise known as the John Lewis Partnership
John Lewis was founded in 1928. It currently employs 83,000 staff and has a turnover of over £10 billion a year.
In September 2018 John Lewis announced that their profits have fallen by 99% (from £83m to £1.2m), their first pretax loss in over a decade.
Chairman (Sir Charlie Mayfield) has already partly blamed Brexit for this for their disappointing figures. Dominic Raab criticized the chain for these comments.
Charlie Mayfield, said the main reason for its fall in profits was the £40m cost to its department stores of matching twice as many discount extravaganzas than in the same period last year. The results had been hit by heavy discounting at other retailers, which forces its department stores to lower prices under their signature “never knowingly undersold” pledge.
The company also added that the “level of uncertainty facing consumers and the economy, in part due to ongoing Brexit negotiations” made it difficult to forecast trading for the next six months but it expected full-year profits to be down.
“I didn’t actually say that Brexit is to blame for our results. But the fact is that sterling is weaker and one of the factors in that is uncertainty, I hoped not to see a no-deal Brexit, that would be a very bad outcome for the UK and the consequences are extremely unpredictable.”
Despite rumours that John Lewis has spent £5m on hiring Elton John for its Christmas ad campaign this year, Mayfield said the department store had not spent “a penny more” than last year on its advertising.
In January 2017 John Lewis promoted Paula Nickolds, who joined the company as a graduate trainee 22 previously, to be the first female managing director in the department store group’s 152-year history. “Paula has got the partnership in her DNA. “She is ferociously bright and a very good people person. She is hugely respected and a woman with outstanding taste,” said one person who knows Nickolds well.
Richard Hyman, the veteran retail analyst, said Nickolds was a great pick to lead the next phase of development at John Lewis because she was an “old fashioned retailer” who was in touch with what customers wanted and would help keep the brand relevant in a tough economic climate. “Anybody can reduce costs if they compromise on quality or service.
It would be a big mistake for John Lewis to jeopardize the single strongest competitive advantage it has which is customer service,” Hyman said.
Good luck with that. Think I am right in saying that John Lewis has outsourced their complaints handling? Very easy to blame Brexit for everything, perhaps Sir Charlie and Paula should take a look as to what their customers think?
I have been a John Lewis customer for many, many years and have used them primarily for their excellent customer service. Don’t know what the fuck has happened there but looking at the evidence will not be using them again and think it is fair to say that their time is almost up.
John Lewis RIP. Or Mike Ashley?
Nominated by Willie Stroker