Oct 21, 2021

Inside the John Lewis nightmare

For affluent Brits, the John Lewis Partnership has been the nanny store: a lifelong safety net that provides everything from children's shoes and Chesterfield sofas to oven trays and OLED TVs. If you weren't sure what you needed or where to find it, you could always try John Lewis. The company, which runs John Lewis department stores and Waitrose supermarkets, has been a quintessential part of Britain's upper-middle class experience - like Wimbledon, Pimm's and over-apologising. There are plans for "15-20" smaller John Lewis convenience stores, offering click-and-collect, says Pippa Wicks, head of John Lewis. It can seem as though, instead of the rest of the British economy becoming more like John Lewis, John Lewis became more like the rest of the British economy. "You're going to see a decrease in the number of people into Peterborough town centre." Nawaz guesses the John Lewis store will be converted into three or four different shops: the future of the high street is "Small, boutique shops", not department stores.

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