John Lewis to scrap ‘never knowingly undersold’ slogan after nearly 100 years

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John Lewis is planning to scrap its famous slogan to price match other retailers after nearly 100 years.

The chain’s new chief executive, Sharon White, told the Sunday Times the “never knowingly undersold” strapline that’s been used by the company since 1925 is likely to go as part of plans to overhaul the business.

The famous pledge allows shoppers to claim a refund for the difference in price for a product if they find it cheaper somewhere else within 28 days.

“The proposition is important because it signifies being fair to society,” she told the newspaper. “We’re reviewing it to improve it.”

The idea of “fair value” will remain a central focus going forward, the chief executive said, but “in a more modernised form”.

Ms White also said John Lewis would be getting rid of its travel and spa services, and reducing its focus on women’s fashion as part of the plans.

She said the partnership needed more “inspiration, surprise, fun” and was planning to offer more from its home, finance and garden ranges.

John Lewis expects to have a new slogan in place by October, according to the BBC.

The move comes after a difficult few months for the department store, which is facing stiff competition from online retailers.

The company is planning to shut eight stores, including its flagship Birmingham branch and a number of other outlets, including travel hub shops.

The shops identified were already “financially challenged” before the coronavirus outbreak, according to John Lewis, with the pandemic accelerating the switch from shopping in-store to online.

Before the virus struck, 40 percent of John Lewis sales were online, it said. This could now be closer to 60 to 70 percent of total sales this year and next.


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