John Lewis ditching its famous 'Never Knowingly Undersold' slogan for new phrase
John Lewis, which has a store in Leeds, has recently told workers, who are called Partners, that it will be replacing its ‘Never Knowingly Undersold’ slogan after almost a century.
The company has unveiled a new strapline of “For All Life’s Moments” as the group seeks to broaden and modernise its appeal.
Partners will hope that the change can help drive the retailer’s recent positivity.
The John Lewis department store business cut thousands of jobs and axed stores as the pandemic exacerbated pressure already felt by the group.
Among those to be announced as closing in March 2021 were its stores at the Vangarde Shopping Park in York and its huge store in Sheffield city centre.
That announcement came eight months after the high street stalwart closed another eight stores, in a move which cut around 1,300 jobs, in the first stage of a sweeping overhaul.
However, the company sprang back into the black last year, posting a £181 million pre-tax profit in the year to January 2022, as it was boosted by record sales from its department stores.
The profits, which were the firm’s strongest for four years, also led the business to restore its annual bonus for employees ahead of previous expectations.
Partners will be hopeful that this recent trajectory has continued as pandemic restrictions eased further and will be keen to hear guidance on Thursday as to what their bonus might look like come next year.
Retail analyst Nick Bubb said John Lewis looks “well placed” ahead of the update, amid perceived positive trading from its AnyDay range of more affordable products, as customers face rising household bills.
However, he also flagged that “there are doubts about the recent performance of Waitrose”, with recent data from Kantar pointing to lower sales at the upmarket supermarket brand.
Mr Bubb also highlighted that higher costs and the lack of business rates relief could affect profitability.
Earlier this month, annual John Lewis sales figures highlighted a “profound shift” in shopping habits as a result of the end of lockdown measures.
Sales of occasion hats were up 168% as customers attended weddings and other social events again, “smart” menswear sales were up 60%, ironing board sales were up 19% and the retailer saw sales of perfume increase by 24%.
But in an indication that householders are returning to lunches outside the home, sales of soup makers fell by 12% and bread bins were down 42%, while sales of commute-ready laptop bags rose by 20% and travel mugs by 65%.
A John Lewis spokeswoman said: “This year we’ve seen a profound shift in shopping behaviour. Customers have enjoyed the return of travel, part time office working and in-store shopping.
“But our in-depth analysis has shown that the combination of living in an always-on digital world and the societal shift accelerated by Covid have cemented our appreciation of the everyday.
“Shoppers are still wanting products to help them make the most of everyday moments such as having family and friends over for dinner and prioritising their wellbeing.”