John Lewis Partnership (JLP) is a UK leading retail company which operates department stores and supermarkets. Products of this company include furniture, kitchenware, clothing items, groceries and organic foods. It also offers other services such as insurance services, textiles manufacturing, real estate services, online sale of products and travel services. Its brands include John Lewis and Waitrose (Datamonitor, 2010).
Headquartered in London, the UK, it has 235 Waitrose supermarkets, 15 Waitrose convenience stores, 28 John Lewis department stores and 4 John Lewis at home stores throughout England, Scotland and Wales. It is the largest employee co-ownership company, employing about 76,500 staff in the UK. It also operates a number of websites such as John Lewis.com, waitrose.com and Greenbee.com (JLP website, a).
In FY2011, gross sales of the company were ￡8.21bn, up ￡784.8 million on the previous year. All of the sales were generated through two business divisions, gross sales of John Lewis were ￡3.23bn while Waitrose were ￡4.97bn (JLP website, b). The company’s main competitors include Arcadia Group Limited, NEXT plc and Wm Morrison Supermarkets plc (JLP website, a).
Origins and Key Developments
John Lewis Partnership originated in 1864 when a businessman named John Lewis founded a draper’s shop in Oxford Street of London. In 1920, John Spedan Lewis created the partnership by adding Peter Jones business. In 1937, the company entered the food trade by acquiring the Waitrose chain of ten grocery shops. The 1950s was a decade of rapid development in Waitrose chain. During the period, Waitrose chain became the company’s first supermarket. It set up seven new style supermarkets (1959). In 1994, the first Waitrose Food and Home store was opened in London, selling a range of selected items from John Lewis department stores. The 2000s was a period of further rapid expansion of the company. In 2000, the...