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John Lewis 150th anniversary

May 14, 2014

In September 1979 John Lewis opened their store in Milton Keynes and I visited as a 10 year old boy for the first time, and discovered the joy of the store that is ‘Never Knowingly Unsold’. Throughout my childhood and into my adult life our family has always shopped at John Lewis, because as every clever shopper knows the prices are competitive and the service is second to none.

35 years of shopping later I am still shopping at John Lewis and now live 15 minutes from their Oxford Street store. Over the years my shopping habits have changed and I now often use their online Click and Collect service but for many things it is still the first store I go to.

The company is now celebrating it’s 150th anniversary and there are a number of special events and product lines planned for the celebration. Last weekend I visited the exhibition currently installed in their Oxford Street store. It was so interesting to learn about the history of the store and the way it is run. Among the displays is an old handbook that detailed the duties of an assistant which included the instruction below. A rule many more stores could do with embracing?

“6. Partners’ Conversation – Partners shall not talk to one another unnecessarily within the hearing of a customer.”


To celebrate the 150th anniversary John Lewis has collaborated with a number of their long-term suppliers and released commemorative products. Some of the best loved furniture from the past has been updated and reworked using modern colours and archive fabrics. The Ercol Studio couch above was launched in 1956 and has been updated exclusively for John Lewis using a fabric from their archive. The two Vitra chairs below are also special editions. The DSR has originally produced as an entry for a design competition in 1950, it has been produced in grass green for the anniversary celebration. The Hal chair was launched in 2010 by Jasper Morrison, the new cherry and chocolate combination is a John Lewis exclusive.

The full range of anniversary products can be found in store and online. If you are near the Oxford Street store do go and see the exhibition, I’m know you will enjoy it. While you are there be sure to head to the roof garden open for the anniversary celebration where you can relax, enjoy the view and enjoy a juice from Joe and the Juice.

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