John Lewis unveils huge plans for Home own brand collections

John Lewis has announced ambitions to grow its own brand Home business to £1bn of annual revenue by 2020.

The department store group said it plans to place design credentials and quality ‘firmly at the heart’ of its growth plans. Key to this is the introduction of its new Design Project collection this Autumn: a 250-piece collection designed in-house, targeted at customers looking for progressive contemporary pieces for their homes.

The retailer will also build on existing own brands including House, which is focused on meeting the needs of ‘generation rent’, and Croft, which draws upon designs using natural luxurious materials.

In addition, the business will continue expanding its exclusive relationships with external brands. John Lewis recently launched a string of exclusive collaborations with brands including furniture company Loaf,  US home furnishings retailer West Elm, and ‘naturally fast food’ restaurant chain LEON.

The Loaf collection includes five exclusively designed pieces – three sofas and two footstools – available in 22 fabrics. They will be sold in 10 John Lewis stores from August 1.

West Elm, a member of the Williams-Sonoma, Inc. portfolio of brands, opened a shop-in-shop in John Lewis’ flagship store on London’s Oxford Street last year. The 821sq ft shop-in-shop made its debut on September 3.  John Lewis is the only stockist of West Elm – outside of the US chain’s own shops – with the brand soon to be rolled out to a total of nine branches.

Meanwhile, John Lewis and LEON are set to unveil an exclusive cookware collaboration on September 1. John Lewis said the 40-piece range ‘takes LEON’s bold colours and iconic illustrations to give a fun and playful feel to traditional cooking utensils’. The collection includes a cast iron griddle plan, cast iron buffet pan, herb chopper, cookware tool set and terracotta tapas dishes, designed with sharing food in mind. All the products have been developed with LEON co-founder John Vincent, and designed by LEON head of design Jo Ormiston, in collaboration with John Lewis cookshop buyer Nicola Hattersley.

John Lewis also offers a range of home services, allowing customers to personalise and design every room in their home with the help of expert staff. Services include Home Design consultation, Any Sofa Any Fabric fitted furniture and custom-made window dressings.

The retailer recently invested £14m in its flagship Oxford Street Home department, and has opened ‘Home Hub’ departments (dedicated areas bringing together all of John Lewis’ home services) at its new branches in Horsham, Basingstoke and Birmingham. New shops opening in Chelmsford and Leeds this year will also contain a Home Hub.

Christine Kasoulis, buying director for home at John Lewis, said: “£1bn sales from our own brand will be a landmark milestone for John Lewis, and it’s a reflection of our belief in our John Lewis design credentials and assortment.

“I’m passionate about the products that our in-house design team are creating, and this ambition will be led by our latest collection, Design Project. It’s a visually arresting collection, with items which are thoughtfully designed and made from the best materials.”

John Lewis home products are also seeing success on a global scale through the development of John Lewis shop-in-shops with international retail partners, the latest of which is Arnotts in Ireland. The Dublin department store has concluded an exclusive agreement to introduce John Lewis own-brand Home products to its store this Autumn. This will be the first time that John Lewis own-brand Home products will be available in Ireland, launching in-store on October 6.

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.

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