John Lewis cites marketing and brand for sales boost

The John Lewis Partnership has credited marketing and the strong brand values held by its department store and Waitrose supermarket chains for its latest yearly sales and profit increases.

John Lewis

The department store group reported a 9.2 per cent rise in revenue to £8.47bn in the year to 26 January 2013. Profit increased 15 per cent during the year meaning all staff will share a bonus pot of £210.8m – the equivalent to 17 per cent of annual salary.

Sales at John Lewis department stores open for more than a year increased 10.5 per cent year on year while profit soared 37.2 per cent. Online sales increased 40.8 per cent during the year, accounting for £959m worth of sales.

The group says “exciting products, knowledgeable customer service and effective marketing” including its Olympic sponsorship, alongside its Never Knowingly Undersold pledge helped boost John Lewis’ performance.

Same store sales at Waitrose increased 6.7 per cent to £5.76bn, with profit up 12.2 per cent to £292.3m. Online sales increased 49 per cent.

The Waitrose Brand Match promise and the extension of its Essentials value range helped increase customer transactions by 6.1 per cent, the Partnership said.

Performance across the group was also boosted by its focus on multichannel shopping allowing customers to shop by mobile, online, supermarkets, convenience and small-format department stores as well as the roll out of John Lewis click and collect.

Click and collect orders at the department store chain have doubled year on year and 43 per cent of orders are now collected through Waitrose stores, which has boosted footfall at the supermarket chain.

Charlie Mayfield, chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, says: “Although the market remains challenging, the Partnership has adapted quickly and successfully and we saw the benefits this year.

We have stepped up innovation in new products, there’s been a continuing focus on value and sustained and rapid growth online. We see this as a time of significant opportunity in a changing market.”

Mayfield adds there is a “quiet revolution underway” across its supply chain, IT and support functions to make sure the partnership remains able to respond quickly to changing market conditions and shopping behaviours.

Despite the chain’s success Mayfield expects sales to slow this year, compared with the last 12 months.

Neil Saunders, managing director of Conlumino says John Lewis’ “appetite for innovation, willingness to invest and relentless focus on understanding, and delivering for, the customer” have paid off, also crediting the group’s partnership model for driving success.

He says: “In these days of bean-counting and financial shenanigans too many retailers are seen, first and foremost, as cash machines whose primary purpose is simply to make as much money as possible in as short a time frame as possible regardless of longer term consequences. Partnership is a defence against such trends.”

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here