John Lewis has outlined its support for UK manufacturing by setting a two-year 15% growth target for all sales of goods in its shops that are made in the UK.
Sales of UK-sourced products at John Lewis totalled £480m in 2012, which is an increase of 9%on the retailer's 2011 baseline. 10,500 products currently feature John Lewis's Made in UK identifier - a small union flag symbol to highlight products made by British suppliers. The two-year growth target will be supported by the identifier – its aim is to further promote UK design and quality and allow customers to more easily identify UK manufactured products.
The commitment comes on the 60th anniversary of John Lewis's manufacturing arm, Herbert Parkinson in Lancashire. With over 250 staff who are all partners in the John Lewis Partnership, Herbert Parkinson manufactures a range of home textile products including woven fabrics which sees the factory produce over 7000 metres of fabric a week, of which, 80% are John Lewis's own designs and bespoke home furnishings such as the John Lewis seven day curtain and blinds service as well as duvets, pillows and cushions. To compete with lower-cost, overseas manufacturing, Herbert Parkinson emphasises unique design, quality and speed of service.
Stuart McDonald, MD of Herbert Parkinson, says: "UK manufacturing remains a key focus for John Lewis so it’s apt that we are able to launch this target at a time when we are celebrating 60 years as partners of John Lewis, and our commitment to UK manufacturing. At Herbert Parkinson we strive to set ourselves apart by delivering innovative products to our customers, along with quality, service and design which is why we hope the new target, as well as the Made in UK identifier, will allow us to generate awareness and further support UK manufacturing."
John Lewis aims to support UK business and encourage entrepreneurship. The retailer increased its number of UK suppliers from 132 last year to 207 currently. Herbert Parkinson is a key supplier of UK manufactured goods to John Lewis shops.