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John Lewis shifts turnaround plan, refocuses on retail

By Rachel Douglass


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John Lewis Horsham store Credits: JLP

British department store giant John Lewis has reportedly applied some changes to its ongoing turnaround plan, with a renewed focus on retail and fresh initiatives to simplify the business.

In an internal magazine seen by the Financial Times, outgoing chair Sharon White and chief executive officer Nish Kankiwala told employees that they would be prioritising a “one retail mindset”, whether that was regarding its supermarket Waitrose, John Lewis itself or its financial services and housing rental division.

The duo noted that a fuller plan would be outlined to staff in January or February, yet it was already revealed that the updated strategy centred around four pillars – “We will be Distinctively Us, The Partner Difference, Simple and Productive, and Fix the Basics”.

As such, the company is setting about improving customer service, simplifying the business and increasing productivity.

In September, John Lewis Partnership had reported narrowing losses in the first half of the year, while total sales had increased 2 percent to 5.8 billion pounds.

While the results remained modest, the company further said that its turnaround plan had faced delays and was now not expected to be complete until 2027/28.

In a statement at the time of the report, White said: “While change is never easy - and there is a long road ahead - there are reasons for optimism. Performance is improving. More customers are shopping with us. Trust in the brands and support for the Partnership model remain high.”

John Lewis