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Online sales soar at John Lewis


Upmarket department store John Lewis is one of the most recognisable brands in the UK's retail world, having opened its first store on London's Oxford Street in 1864 and expanded throughout the country since then.

Despite its role as the doyenne of the high street and its prestigous name, the company was not slow to embrace the digital future, and has in fact been one of the British firms most eager to embrace the online world.

Although it only has 41 stores across the country, it has worked with marketing recruiters and industry experts to emphasise its position as a 'flexible' retailer, working across a number of different channels to offer consumers a 21st century shopping experience.

And despite some roadbumps on the way, it appears that this progressive policy is beginning to pay off for the former drapery shop.

On a rolling 52-week basis the company has just recorded £1 billion of online sales, following a £40 million investment in its website over the last three years, marking its move into an 'omnichannel' strategy.

Mark Lewis, who has recently joined the retailer as online director, described passing the milestone a year ahead of schedule as a success for the firm and emphasised how much importance John Lewis places on online shopping.

"We have a leading omnichannel strategy which our customers love, but to continue to deliver the service our customers want, we need a website which will serve us as well as the old one did, and maintain our position as a leading innovator in online retailing," he added.

The new website features new functionality including an enhanced wish list function and search history, with further customer-focused additions planned for the coming months.

Charlie Mayfield, chairman of John Lewis Partnership, recently pointed out that the firm are investing in IT and their supply chain to improve their multichannel offering.

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