John Lewis is opening concessions in sister brand Waitrose
John Lewis Partnership has been quietly opening John Lewis department store concessions in its Waitrose supermarkets. And while only a few have opened so far, it's reportedly planning to ramp up this process considerably.
Last month it opened in Wallingford in Oxfordshire, which was the fifth ‘mini John Lewis’ so far. But chairwoman Sharon White wants most of its 331 supermarkets to have one within the next year to 18 months, The Times reported.
It added that the new plan to expand the local format has been inspired by US chain Nordstrom’s neighbourhood stores.
Supermarket operators, including Tesco and Sainsbury’s, have increasingly been experimenting with concession models in recent years. But Tesco has had to link with external companies. And while Sainsbury’s has forged external partnerships too, it’s also been able to integrate its own Argos chain into its megastores.
John Lewis Partnership also has the ability to keep it all in the family by combining its two retail chains. The company already has Waitrose supermarkets in some of its John Lewis branches.
While John Lewis remains the only one of the non-luxury-specific UK department store chains not to have faced some sort of collapse in recent years, it's still been under heavy pressure and has been forced to look at new ways of growing its business and maximising its efficiency.
In the face of a fast shift online by consumers (which means the company expects 75% of its sales to come via the web by 2025), the business needs to make sure that its physical spaces really pay their way.
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