Nov 30, 2020
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John lewis stops taking non-UK online orders

Nov 30, 2020

John Lewis is closing its International business just as the firm prepares to reopen its stores in England and as its online business prepares for what’s usually a wave of international orders. 

Popular with both international shoppers and Britons living abroad, The Times reported that the retailer is understood to have decided sending orders abroad is costing it too much. It will stop taking new orders from outside of the UK on December 9. 

But the newspaper also said that some senior staff members are surprised at the decision and said it's the wrong thing to do.

John Lewis’s thinking is clearly connected to the end of the Brexit  transition period that’s looming at the end of next month. It means that sending goods to Britain's former EU partners will be more expensive from next year.

International sales don't make up a huge percentage of the company’s overall turnover and they fell nearly 17% to £10.6 million last year. Its operating profits abroad also fell over 10% to £2.1 million. 

A John Lewis spokesman said: “As part of our Partnership Plan for the next two years, in John Lewis we have decided to focus on areas of the business that will deliver products and services for our local UK customers. As such, we are no longer pursuing international expansion.”

It's unusual these days for a business of this size not to ship internationally, although John Lewis clearly thinks that the UK is where its total focus should be.

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