The John Lewis partnership is the company, and worker cooperative that owns John Lewis plc and Waitrose plc.
John Lewis Partnership
The John Lewis partnership is owned by its 69,000 employees ("partners") who have a say in running the business and share in its profits.
- The John Lewis partnership is the third largest UK private company.
All the companies within the John Lewis partnership were traditionally upmarket, appealing mostly to middle class shoppers. But recently the partnership has moved down market, introducing the 'Simply' range to John Lewis and the 'Essentials' range to Waitrose.
In January, 2010 John Lewis partnership was named Britain's favourite retailer for the third year in a row by Verdict, the retail research group. John Lewis staff get paid more than average, meaning John Lewis partnership can attract the best people. If you are looking for a job in retail you should certainly make applying for John Lewis jobs a high priority.
John Lewis Partnership history
The seed of John Lewis partnership was planted in 1864 when John Lewis set up a drapers shop in Oxford Street, London, which grew into a department store and began taking over other stores. Even at this early stage some power sharing policies were put in place. In 1920 his son, John Spedan Lewis, expanded power sharing so that all profits were shared among the employees and the formal partnership structure was put into place. Finally, John Spedan Lewis bequeathed the partnership to the employees. In 2009 there were 69,000 partners working as full-time employees, from shop floor to management, as part of the John Lewis Partnership.
The famous slogan Never knowingly undersold was created by John Spedan Lewis in 1925. The John Lewis partnership became the only large retailer that would match high street prices with any UK shop, something that only a few other retailers have taken up in this century.
John Lewis Partnership was bought Jessop & Son of Nottingham, and their Nottingham store became the first John Lewis outside London, although it kept the name 'Jessops' until 2002, when it was renamed as John Lewis. The John Lewis partnership has purchased a number of other regional department stores, as well as developing new stores.
Organisation of the John Lewis Partnership
Every employee is a partner in the John Lewis Partnership, and can influence the business through branch forums and, above all, the John Lewis Partnership Council, with 82 members elected by the partners.
To keep members informed, the John Lewis Partnership publishes a weekly magazine, 'the Gazette', the oldest in-house magazine still being published in the UK. Each John Lewis branch also has its own weekly magazine, 'the Chronicle'.
The John Lewis Partnership provides many social activities for its partners, including two large country estates with parklands and playing fields. Every partner receives a share of the profits as an Annual Bonus, calculated as a percentage of salary, with the same percentage for everyone, from top management to shop floor. It has varied from 9% and 20% of the partners' annual salaries since 20002.
John Lewis plc
John Lewis plc is the non-grocery retail branch of the John Lewis partnership. Most shoppers now see it as running the UK's only true chain of department stores. In the noughties John Lewis department stores made up Britain's most successful retail chain.
 John Lewis set retail pace, Financial Times, January 16 2010
 John Lewis Partnership on Wikipedia. Includes detailed breakdown of Financial performance for the last ten years.