John Lewis launches project in partnership with The Great British Exchange

John Lewis has launched ‘Locally Made’: a new initiative to enhance its support of local UK suppliers and manufacturers.

The project will see the retailer bring together locally-designed and made products from across the country in a dedicated area in its shops.

The project will kick-start in the department store group’s newest branch, which opens in Leeds on October 20.

The shop will stock more than 120 products from 11 local Yorkshire suppliers – all based within a 30 mile radius of Leeds – including the Harrogate Candle Company.

The products will also be available on the John Lewis website, broadening their exposure and making them available to shoppers across the country.

Over the next few months, John Lewis shops in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Cardiff will also increase their range of locally-made products, followed by new shops opening next year in Oxford and Westfield London.

The project is in partnership with Harrogate-based The Great British Exchange, which launched in 2014 and aims to help British producers and manufacturers sell into more retail locations in the UK and Internationally.

The company sources artisanal products from new designers, established makers, independent businesses and British-based factories from across the UK.

Anna Rigby, head of buying for home accessories and gifts at John Lewis, said: ‘We know our customers are interested in the provenance of products. And as a British retailer, we’re proud to support British design and quality by sourcing locally.

“Our Made Locally campaign, in partnership with The Great British Exchange, will help us strengthen our existing local supplier base and inevitably champion more British designers and manufacturers.”

Matthew Hopkins, managing director at The Great British Exchange, said: “The essence of The Great British Exchange is to provide a stepping stone into retail for British manufacturers and it’s a one-stop-shop for retailers looking for British-made products. We work hard to provide a route to market for new British manufacturers and designers.

“I’m very proud of our partnership with John Lewis, which creates fantastic ongoing opportunities for more locally-sourced products to be sold in one of the UK’s most prestigious retailers.’

John Lewis has a rich heritage when it comes to working with British manufacturers. The retailer has already established relationships with local suppliers at several of its existing shops, including John Lewis Cardiff which has 80 Welsh product lines and its shop in Birmingham which has several ‘Made in the Midlands’ products including suppliers from the city’s Jewellery Quarter.

John Lewis own-brand furnishing fabrics, duvets and pillows are also manufactured at its own textiles mill, Herbert Parkinson, founded in 1934 in Lancashire. Its own-brand mattresses are produced by Spink & Edgar, a family-owned business based in Yorkshire.

John Lewis operates 46 John Lewis shops across the UK (32 department stores, 12 John Lewis at home and shops at St Pancras International and Heathrow Terminal 2) as well as johnlewis.com.

 

The Great British Exchange team at the Home & Gift Buyers’ Festival, held from July 17-20 in Harrogate. At the event it won of The Giftware Association’s Outstanding Product award for its toffee-flavoured vodka and launched the Tom Kerridge range of housewares products.

l-r: Claire Corns, Matthew Hopkins, Sophie Robinson

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