Sep 13, 2019 | By Athena Chen
Experience the leading provider of consumer foresight.
Apr 02, 2018
John Lewis taps into the fashion market and the announced opening of the new 230,000-sq ft-store in Westfield, White City, is a showcase of that. On top of a more fashion-led range, the new store includes an experiential proposition with cookery classes.
In the latest financial results, released at the beginning of the month, fashion sales were up 3.2%, boosted by a particularly strong performance in womenswear, up 5.0%, especially buoyed by own brand womenswear, up 14.9%.
Our proprietary retail data product, Instock, confirms that John Lewis is dialing up its fashion proposition and it’s doing it with own brands. New-in volumes of own brands have grown, in particular AND/OR, the retailer’s first in-house denim lifestyle brand, up 37.9% YOY, and Modern Rarity whose new-ins quadrupled.
On the other hand, overall, the retailer’s womenswear new-ins have declined by 18.9% YOY.
This is unsurprising as, like other retailers in the struggling mid-market segment, John Lewis has adopted the strategy of rationalising assortments to favour range curation over pure volume. This strategy enables them to avoid competing with other mid-market retailers on price matching and create a distinct fashion proposition allowing quick reaction to fashion trends and a tighter control over margins.
Based on our Barometer survey, interviewing more than 75,000 womenswear and menswear consumers yearly in the UK, without a doubt, and as expected, the retailer is perceived as ‘quality, ‘classic, ‘trusted’, ‘professional’ and ‘premium by UK consumers. It will take some time to develop brand associations that makes them a fashion destination but the launch of the Westfield flagship store is definitely a good starting point.
Barometer is WGSN’s daily retail consumer intelligence tool across menswear and womenswear.
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