Gifts Today magazine

John Lewis going Dutch

Seven shop-in-shops planned in first international venture outside Asia

John Lewis have set their sights on Europe’s middle classes by taking their first step on the continent with plans to open shop-in-shops in seven branches of Dutch department store de Bijenkorf in addition to plans to open seven more full-size UK outlets.

The Daily Telegraph reported the first three shops will open in the spring in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague, followed by openings in Eindhoven, Utrecht, Amstelveen and Maastricht in 2017.

“We’re delighted to be debuting our first European shop-in-shop and de Bijenkorf is the perfect partner to enable us to bring John Lewis to a new customer base and country,” Andy Street, John Lewis MD, told the newspaper.

The company said the Netherlands stores would be focused on their own-brand home and lifestyle products, rather than the fashion offer.

The company has recently introduced a new Croft collection of homewares, which is delivers a relaxed British style with neutral shades and lots of ceramics.

Last October Andy said the retailers have “no plans for world domination” and the group were “not going to put a shop down internationally as the UK market is hot…and far from saturation”.

However, they have now said further international shop-in-shops re now part of their strategy following on from the 14 across Asia, the only other territory the department store is currently in apart from the UK.

Andy added: “Our existing shop-in-shops in Singapore, the Philippines and South Korea have been well received and are trading well.

“While we remain committed to our UK physical expansion we hope to announce more international collaborations in 2016.”

John Lewis recently opened a new flagship store at Birmingham’s new Grand Central complex and Andy said that the group have another seven UK shops in the pipeline.

Mr Street added that they are committed to Black Friday this year, despite Asda stepping back from the retail phenomenon, and added that he “would not blink” on John Lewis’ “never knowingly undersold” price-matching strategy.

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