John Lewis is to retire its 97-year-old value pledge “by no means knowingly undersold” on 22 August however has but to disclose a catchy new slogan to take its place.
The division retailer chain instructed prospects in an electronic mail it won’t settle for new claims underneath the pledge from 23 August, as a substitute promising them – fairly long-windedly – it’s “at all times knowingly dedicated to excellent worth”.
Explaining its rationale, John Lewis mentioned it was scrapping the historic pledge to concentrate on “on a regular basis high quality and worth”.
A spokesperson for the corporate mentioned neither of those had been its new slogan however a “brief time period message at level of sale to let prospects know in regards to the retirement of ‘by no means knowingly undersold’, and can solely be used for one more couple of weeks”.
John Lewis is predicted to launch a advertising marketing campaign to kick off its new gross sales pitch within the coming weeks. In November final yr, it registered a string of potential catch phrases with the Mental Property Workplace, together with “John Lewis: Life is gorgeous”, “For hopes and desires: John Lewis”, “For the enjoyment of life: John Lewis” and “John Lewis for all life’s moments”.
The corporate mentioned it frequently registered emblems however not all go on for use.
The staff-owned division retailer chain introduced in February that it could retire its well-known slogan this summer season as a result of the worth promise didn’t apply to online-only retailers, and customers had been more and more shopping for on-line.
John Lewis mentioned it could, nonetheless, make investments £500m this yr, £100m greater than in 2021, in decreasing costs to supply prospects “on a regular basis high quality and worth” as they face a squeeze on disposable revenue from the rising value of dwelling.
The funding will partly assist broaden John Lewis’s Anyday cut-price vary, which it launched final yr.
Beneath the “by no means knowingly undersold” slogan, which John Lewis launched in 1925, the chain commits to refund prospects the distinction in the event that they discover the identical merchandise on sale elsewhere for a lower cost inside 28 days. Solely retailers who’ve a nationwide chain of bodily shops are included within the comparability.
The scheme, which value John Lewis thousands and thousands of kilos because it was pressured to chop costs at any time when a rival held a sale, is being ditched as shops face heavy competitors from Amazon and different on-line specialists, and a surge in prices from power to staffing.
The retailer first revealed the pledge was underneath assessment in March 2020, a month after Sharon White joined as chair.
White is overhauling the group, which is staff-owned and in addition operates Waitrose supermarkets, with the purpose of reaching income of £400m by 2025 in contrast with a lack of £26m reported this yr. The plan entails saving £300m in annual prices by this yr and spending £1bn over the 5 years to 2025 to revamp retailers and its on-line enterprise.