John Lewis preps revamped member offer as it hires first pan-partnership loyalty lead

Tesco’s Emily Wells joins the John Lewis Partnership as head of loyalty to develop a new pan-partnership loyalty proposition, which is expected to launch in 2024.

John Lewis and Waitrose

The John Lewis Partnership is ramping up its loyalty proposition with the appointment of its first group head of loyalty who has been tasked with developing a new pan-partnership customer offer, which will be unveiled next year.

Tesco’s Emily Wells takes on the newly-created role after five years at the supermarket, most recently as head of loyalty strategy. She will report into pan-partnership and John Lewis customer director Charlotte Lock.

As part of this drive to deepen customer relationships, the partnership has also signed a five-year deal with customer insights firm Dunnhumby, the company behind Tesco’s Clubcard, and marketing tech firm Eagle Eye Solutions Group.

As well as developing the new proposition, Wells has also been tasked with bolstering the existing My Waitrose and My John Lewis loyalty schemes and teams.John Lewis Partnership insists transformation plan ‘on track’ despite £234m loss The partnership relaunched its My Waitrose and My John Lewis loyalty programmes last year, which now have more than 9 million and 5 million members, respectively.

The retailer says it rewarded My Waitrose members with £100m in personalised money-off rewards last year. Meanwhile, My John Lewis members reportedly shop 2.5 times more frequently than non-members, with growth in the scheme boosted by the introduction of John Lewis Members Week, which it has held a number of times throughout the year.

Lock says the latest developments “show the ambition” the business has to “transform how our much loved brands can deliver a more personalised experience for customers”.

She adds that the appointment of Wells, coupled with the deal with Dunnhumby and Eagle Eye, will mean the partnership can “better help our customers however, whenever and wherever they shop with us”.

The business reported a £78m loss for 2022, rising to a loss of £234m after “exceptional costs”, notably a write-down in the value of Waitrose stores. This is only the group’s second-ever full-year loss and compares to a profit of £181m in 2021.

For the year ending 28 January 2023, total sales were down 2%, reflecting “strong sales” at John Lewis and a decline of 3% at Waitrose.

Despite these losses, chair Sharon White insisted last month the company’s five-year transformation plan is “on track”, adding that it will continue to “invest substantially in both brands and our diversification”.