“Never Knowingly Undersold”
All gets a bit tricky with that mission statement going into the world of property as John Lewis are finding to their cost after launching into the property sector following the appointment of Dame Sharon White as chairman back in 2020.
Their build-to-rent scheme in Ealing is reportedly likely to result in losses of £57m and bids on the sale of the upper floors of its Oxford Street store, for redevelopment into offices, are now floundering, due to rising interest rates and the present economic microclimate.
Their venture into property, whilst Waitrose is underperforming, does to seem likely to be on track to generate two fifths of group profit via non-retail areas by 2030. Maybe it would have been prudent to address the problems in the core business rather than introduce more through diversification.