John Lewis is a chain of
department stores operating
Britain and is popular amongst the middle class for its
high quality goods.
The chain is owned by the John Lewis Partnership
. All permanent
employees are partners in the business. There are currently 28
stores throughout England and Scotland and a further 8 stores are
confirmed to open in the next 5 years. The brand is known for its
slogan "Never Knowingly Undersold" which has been in use for 76
years. In 2007 John Lewis was voted Britain's Favourite
.John Lewis opened its first store in Wales on
22 September 2009 in Cardiff.
connected to the recently expanded St. David's Centre, one of the largest
shopping centres in the United Kingdom.
John Lewis Cardiff is the largest John
Lewis department store in the UK, outside of London..On 1 January 2008,
John Lewis Oxford
Street was awarded a Royal
Warrant from Her Majesty the Queen as suppliers of haberdashery and household goods.
Lewis shop in Reading,
Berkshire also has a Royal
Warrant from the Queen as suppliers of household and fancy
goods, received on 1 January 2007.
Several John Lewis stores are iconic architectural buildings, often
include the flagship store on Oxford Street, London, with its
Barbara Hepworth statue Winged
Figure, on the corner with Holles Street, and the Peter Jones
department store at the corner of Sloane Square and Kings
London. The largest store outside of London opened in
Cardiff in September 2009.
Some of the earlier smaller branches have now been closed, such as
Caley's in Windsor, which shut its doors in July 2006.
The flagship store on Oxford Street began as a drapery
shop, opened by John Lewis
Lewis acquired a second store, Peter
Jones in Sloane
His son, John Spedan Lewis
, founded the John Lewis Partnership
in 1920 after
thinking up the idea during his days in charge of Peter Jones. John
Spedan Lewis also thought up the idea of the Gazette, the
partnership's in-house magazine, first published in 1918.
In 1940 the partnership bought Selfridge Provincial Stores. This
group of fifteen suburban and provincial department stores included
Cole Brothers, Sheffield, and George Henry Lee, Liverpool, which
continue to trade today, now re-branded as John Lewis. In 1953 the
partnership bought Herbert Parkinson, a textile manufacturer, a
business which still makes all the duvets, pillows and furnishings
for John Lewis.
The department stores today
Street shop is still the flagship and largest branch in
Interior of John Lewis, Oxford Street,
A complete refurbishment of the building
was completed in late 2007 at a cost of £60 million. The project
has made the shop one unified space, with the creation of two
glass-roofed atriums, a brand new 'Place To Eat' restaurant and,
for the first time, the inclusion of a brasserie and bistro in the
store. A 'John Lewis Food Hall from Waitrose' opened in the shop's
basement in October 2007.
The John Lewis Food Hall from Waitrose is a new concept for the
John Lewis Partnership. The food hall combines elements of the
Waitrose format alongside new innovations such as a Cheese Room and
florist which are unique to the department store. A second Food
Hall opened at John Lewis Bluewater on the 6th August 2009.
The refurbishment of the Oxford Street flagship follows on from
substantial investment made in other shops across the group over
recent years. This has included the renovation of Peter Jones at a
cost of £107 million, completed in 2004.
As a large and successful retailer, John Lewis has increasingly
been seen by both planners and developers as the central magnet
which can make or break a shopping development.The announcement of
an anchor tenant
such as John Lewis
contributes to the certainty of developers' proposals, and so
attracts other retailers to the area.For example the
announcement of the 1998 department store move from Bristol city
centre to near the M4-M5 junction at Cribbs
Causeway drew some
retailers to move from the traditional Broadmead shopping area, and
encouraged further construction in the neighbourhood of the new
mall – a move criticised in some quarters because of poor public
transport links from Bristol. In contrast, the 2006
reconstruction of the former Robert Sayle was the core of the major
Arcade project in the middle of Cambridge.
Many stores acquired by the partnership retained their original
names for several years, including Trewins in Watford, and
Bainbridge's in Newcastle. All have now been rebranded John Lewis, with
the exception of Peter Jones and Knight & Lee in Southsea.
Before the relaxation of UK Sunday trading laws, John Lewis stores
were well known for closing on Mondays to allow staff a full two
The John Lewis Partnership were the first department store group in
the UK to adopt central buying, launching the 'Jonell(e)' name for
own brand merchandise in 1937. That brand name has gradually been
replaced with the 'John Lewis' name since 2001. Additional own
brands include 'JFW', 'Guise' and 'JL' for clothing. A selection of
own brand products, such as
cleaning materials and party stationery, are also available from
John Lewis. Famous brands such as Crew Clothing,
Polo Golf, Mulberry, Fat
Face, Sony and Apple Inc. are stocked by the group.
Most stores feature a 'Place To Eat' self-service restaurant,
offering a range of counters. Some newer stores including Solihull and Southampton feature a John Lewis Cafe, aiming to attract
customers who may visit an in-mall coffee shop.
Brasserie' has recently brought table service back to the shops
with a more sophisticated menu and decor.
Wycombe store is the only branch not to have clothing
departments (apart from sports clothing), hence the shop's name
'John Lewis Home & Leisure'.
John Lewis products are
also in 'Waitrose Food & Home' stores (eg in Salisbury).
In 2007 a
'John Lewis Home Outlet' opened at McArthurGlen's Swindon
Designer Outlet centre, the first 'outlet
store' of the company.
The new Cardiff John Lewis, the 2nd
biggest John Lewis in the U.K. and the 2nd largest department store
in the UK outside London.
In 2008 a controversy over the declaration of expenses by UK
Members of Parliament
that Parliamentary authorities were using information from John
Lewis - the 'John Lewis list
' - as a
guide to the maximum costs refundable to MPs when equipping London
pieds à terre
at public expense.
November 2008, it was announced that John Lewis would open their
first department store outside the UK in Dublin, Ireland. Subject to planning permission, the shop
will be a key part the Dublin central
development in historic O’Connell Street.
The centre is
being developed by Chartered Land
will be part of the largest retail centre in Ireland, regenerating
of the city centre. The €1.2 billion development is due to open in
Cardiff store opened
in September 2009 as part of the St David's Centre — Phase 2
development, and is the largest John Lewis department store in the
UK outside of London.
The Cardiff branch is also the
Partnership's only department store in Wales.
Stratford will open in 2011 together with a new Waitrose
supermarket. The new shops will anchor the Westfield
Stratford City development alongside the Olympic
Park in East London.
The group announced in March 2009 that all other planned openings
were to be postponed due to difficult trading conditions resulting
from the credit crunch and the cancellation or postponement of
projects by its development partners. [John Lewis sees
profits fall 26%] Delayed projects include a 260,000 sq ft store in
Leeds at the Eastgate
Quarters development, a store at the Tithebarn development in
Preston, one at the Westgate Centre in Oxford, and one in
the redeveloped town centre in Crawley, as well as relocations of the stores in Portsmouth
and Sheffield. Before the crunch John Lewis declared an
interest in establishing a department store in Bromley.
2004, John Lewis announced plans to open its first store in
Ireland at the Sprucefield Park development, the province's largest out of town
shopping centre, located outside Lisburn and ten miles (16 km) from Belfast.
The application was approved in June 2005
and the opening of the new store scheduled for 2008. This decision
was disputed, however, and taken to the High Court where it was
flagship store is to open at the former Courts site at the Commerce
Centre retail park in Poole,
The flagship store will herald a new store format
and will be called John Lewis At Home and will be one third the
size of a traditional John Lewis department store. It is hoped that
the store format will be rolled out following the success of the