Waitrose & John Lewis launch new five year plan

Date : 20 October 2020

Lucy Ingram

Retail Analyst

We take a look a detailed look at the updated Waitrose and John Lewis strategy plan. 

Recover profits and accelerate change

JLP is targeting reaching £200m profit by year two and £400m by year five. The plan is split into two time phases;

  • Years 1-2: recover profit and lay foundations for growth
  • Years 3-5: accelerate change, reshape and grow

The Partnership is investing £1bn in improving its customer experience, ensuring every touch point customers have is consistent and exceptional. This includes online and in-store, and bringing more personalisation to these different ways of interacting.

Investment focus areas include;

Aligning Waitrose with growth channels & missions

With the impact the pandemic has had on shopping behaviors Waitrose is keen to focus on strengthening its position both in store and online in satisfying customers' need for convenience.

In response to the surge in demand for online Waitrose is growing delivery capacity beyond 250,000 orders per week, up from 55,000 before the pandemic. 25% of slots are being saved for vulnerable shoppers. In addition, the retailer will be expanding its partnership with Deliveroo, from five to 30 stores, with the aim of attracting new shoppers. In the long-term all Waitrose stores will also become click and collect destinations.

To better serve customers looking for non-food items, there are growing synergies between Waitrose and John Lewis. All 280 general merchandise Waitrose shops are set to sell John Lewis products in the future. JLP will be investing in those stores to make them more exciting for customers, particularly to appeal to younger shoppers, including new changing rooms and shoppable QR codes.

JLP has also said it recognises that shoppers are particularly cost conscious at the moment. It has seen a 10% rise in the Waitrose essentials range in the past six months. In response to the growing demand and changing shopper priorities it will be creating new entry price points in the spring. A new value pledge will be announced in 2021.

Equality, sustainability and wellbeing

Strong ethical commitments remain central to the strategy. The Partnership has committed to taking a bigger lead in the industry on sustainability & welfare, setting ambitious targets;

  • Being net zero carbon by 2035, including only sourcing from net zero carbon farms
  • Halving food waste by 2030
  • Paying all Partners the Real Living Wage
  • As part of its diversity and inclusion plan JLP aims to recruit more people from the care system

JLP aims to be the go-to place for shoppers interested in sustainability. This includes everything from its field to fork ethical food chains, to inspirational formats such as Waitrose Unpacked

New areas of growth, driven by new partnerships

JLP will be making a £400m investment into diversifying the business, with the target of generating 40% of its profit from non-retail by 2030. The new areas of growth will be driven by new partnerships that are aligned with and build on the JLP ethos. This includes financial services, housing, outdoor living and rental/resale/recycle. As well as boosting performance, the new areas of investment aim to help attract younger customers.

Nina Bhatia, executive director of strategy and commercial development has said;

"We’re creating new inspirational services for customers where strong ethical values and peace of mind matter, like reusing and recycling products, personal savings and rented housing. Our plans will firmly establish Waitrose and John Lewis as the go-to brands for customers that care about quality, value, and sustainability.”

Looking for more Waitrose insight?

Read about the retailer's H1 results including its robust grocery performance and growing Waitrose.com.

Looking for more insight?

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