John Lewis sets out to reach more customers, will be majority online retailer by 2025

John Lewis and Waitrose have unveiled ambitious plans to shake up both brands in a bid to reach more customers.

John Lewis is expanding its digital and virtual presence; it will be bringing expert Partners and products into customers’ homes through a tap on an app. It is investing in more virtual services like home design, personal styling and the John Lewis Virtual Christmas shop.

In addition, the retailer will be more accessible locally with a “significant expansion” in Click & Collect services, aiming for 1,000 locations – through shops and collection points – to buy or pick up products.

Notably, the company unveiled that it will become a 60-70 per cent online retailer by 2025, alongside its shops.

It also said it is undertaking “substantial” customer research and using data analytics to inform its new value pledge, which will be announced next year. ‘Never Knowingly Undersold’ remains in place until then.

The John Lewis Partnership (which owns the John Lewis and Waitrose brands) ensures the business is continuing to adapt to changing shopping habits, getting closer to customers online and in-store.

As part of the new plans, John Lewis will relaunch its Home range in the Spring and introduce more affordable price points as it recognises that shoppers are especially cost conscious at the moment.

In order to enhance its customer service, the Partnership admits “it’s not always been as easy as it should be to shop with us”, but said it is investing further to deliver “a fantastic experience” in-store, online on the phone. This includes £1bn over five years to accelerate its online business and transform its shops.

“This will make it easier for customers to shop with us on our websites and apps, and provide more convenient delivery options,” the retailer said, adding that it is modernising John Lewis shops to have “the right space in the right place”.

This will be achieved by saving £300m per year by 2022 through more efficient operations and head office setups.

Chair of the John Lewis Partnership, Sharon White, said the company had seen five years of change in the past five months, but John Lewis and Waitrose have responded “with great agility”.

“Our plan means the Partnership will thrive for the next century, as it has the last. We’re adapting successfully to how customers want to shop today, while showing the Partnership is improving lives and building a more sustainable future.”