By 2020, John Lewis would have grown its Home business brand by £1 billion in annual revenue. In addition, the retailer will be seeking to continue expanding partnerships with diverse brands. Essentially, John Lewis will be benchmarking on its success and building on it by having design credentials as well as quality solidly placed at the centre of the department store growth plans.
Critical to all this is a fresh Design Project, a new collection that the company seeks to introduce by autumn. It’s essentially an in-house with 150 pieces of design collections focusing hugely on serious design. This seeks to target customers in search of progressive modern pieces to accentuate their homes.
John Lewis won’t stop continuing with the building of its current brands from Croft that speaks of timeless designs with nature and luxury at the heart of its materials, including House that focuses a lot on ensuring the “rent generation” requirements have been met.
The retailer hasn’t stopped there yet and continues to release a series of special collaborations with diverse brands across the board from Leon, a dining chain, West and Loaf. For the Loaf exclusive collections, there will be five uniquely designed pieces buyers can find in about twenty fabrics. The department store will be West Elm’s only stockists, who form a very exclusive external partner beyond its stores. The brand will be hitting nine branches soon.
John Lewis provides a unique home service range that gives buyers a chance to not only design, but personalise each space with their homes to meet their own unique and individualised needs through the aid of professional John Lewis Partners. Apart from Any Sofa Fabric where models of sofas are created in diverse fabric choices and combinations, other services are consultations on Home Design, customised window dressings and fitted furniture, among others.
The retailer has also invested about £14 million in the recent past in an Oxford Street flagship Home department. The group has also opened other Home Hub departments in Birmingham, Basingstoke and Horsham among other branches. These dedicated areas bring together all the diverse home services provided by John Lewis. Home Hubs will also be found in other shops being opened within branches in Leeds and Chelmsford.
Belief in themselves
According to the Home buying section of John Lewis, hitting a £1 billion in sales from their brand will definitely be a significant milestone for the group. It’ll definitely reflect on the company’s belief in their own design abilities and provision of perfectly designed assortments. The company is very passionate about their in-house products design professionals and their creations that have given birth to Home’s Design Project. The collection is visually attractive and the items have been designed thoughtfully apart from being created from high-quality materials.
At the same time, home products sold by the department store have been well accepted globally particularly the company’s shop-in-shops ventures being done through global retail partners such as Ireland’s Arnotts.
Poor weather versus Brexit
The news comes in the wake of reports that supermarkets have been enduring the worst performance in sales in 24 months after the Brexit vote. However, analysts have not fully blamed this on the vote to leave the European Union but poor weather. While in July 2015 the weather had temperatures of 35 degrees on average, July 2016 came with wind and rain and good weather has only been felt recently. It’s also clear from consumer and retail insight professionals that there’s still scanty information on how retail prices have been affected by Brexit vote or even the amount of items customers were purchasing.
Competition and decreasing sales
While large supermarket chains such as Morrisons, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Tesco continued to see a decrease in sales and decline in market share and increased competition from chains such as Waitrose, discounters like Lidl are believed to be the real reason. In July 2016, Waitrose reported a rise of 7.2 percent in sales with the week ending July 23rd, with huge increase in price margins in various goods such as sparkling wine, lollies and ice cream. Nonetheless, Waitrose’s sister department store, John Lewis wasn’t really reporting the same great news, indicating that sales had fallen around the same time by 4.3 percent. Apparently, Brits wanted to maximise on the warm weather rather than purchase homewares and clothes.
John Lewis Partnership is generally a UK employee owned company that operates the Waitrose supermarkets and John Lewis retail stores. All the employees own the company via a trust that’s referred to as “Partners”. The partners have a voice in the running of the Partnership with a share of the yearly profits shared among them, mostly a major extra amount on top of their salary. The first drapery shop by John Lewis opened in London along 132 Oxford Street back in 1864.