John Lewis celebrates 150 years of ‘a better way of doing business’

This is a collaborative post

John Lewis have been in touch with me, to share the following news about a rather special year for them, and to offer up a fabulous give-away for one of my readers…

John Lewis is pleased to announce plans to mark its 150th anniversary with a series of commemorative events which will celebrate a business that has grown from a humble draper’s shop opened in 1864, to the £4 billion international, award-winning business it is today.

150 Iconic OS Image copyLifting the lid on its history, John Lewis will invite the world to explore its rich and unique heritage and understand how this iconic British brand has grown out of one man’s idea of “a better way of doing business”.

An interactive exhibition in the retailer’s flagship shop on Oxford Street will sit at the heart of the celebrations. From the cobbled streets of Victorian London, visitors will open a door into the retailer’s past via the draper’s shop where it all began on 2nd May 1864. Following a dimly lit corridor past the original book that includes the first day’s takings, guests will find themselves in John Spedan Lewis’ office, the setting for the birth of the John Lewis Partnership. Visitors will get an insight into the man Spedan was and his revolutionary idea that all workers should be co-owners and share in the success of his company.

After a dramatic installation which tells the story of how a WWII bomb threatened the future of the company, the exhibition proceeds to explain how the “craft of shopkeeping” and a passion for customer service has guided the business ever since. The work of many celebrated designers and brands is recognised, as well as the retailer’s own textile mill, Herbert Parkinson, where a bespoke weave will fill the exhibition floor and run over the ceiling. Visitors will exit the exhibition with a glimpse into how we will shop, live and look in the future, through a unique collaboration with the Royal College of Art.

In a first for the retailer, the Oxford Street flagship will also open its roof to London. Working with Tony Woods, Royal Horticultural Society National Young Designer of the Year, and the Partnership’s own gardeners from the Longstock estate, one of the capital’s largest urban rooftops will be transformed into a tranquil space that boasts some of the best views in town. It will support and reinforce the importance of brand identity for these companies. 

Collaborating with some of Britain’s most loved brands and designers, John Lewis will offer in store and online a carefully edited assortment of product that has been produced exclusively for the anniversary. Partnerships include: Antoni & Alison; Jaeger; Ted Baker; Lucienne Day; Barbour; Alex Monroe; Jo Malone; Liz Earle; Dualit; Vitra; Alessi; Links of London and Silvercross.

In a series of firsts, its fashion department sees the launch of Orla Kiely’s first menswear range, exclusive to John Lewis. The electricals department has teamed up with the iconic Henry Hoover brand to offer John Lewis customers the opportunity to buy a ‘John’ or a ‘Lewis’ Hoover, and in its home department the retailer’s own design studio pays homage to the brand’s design history by taking key heritage prints from the archives and using them on new, modern products.

Across the country John Lewis shops will be joining the celebrations, which start on 3rd May, with a whole host of regional activities and, working in partnership with Barnardos, each shop will be supporting local charity initiatives. That week the retailer will also launch a special 150th anniversary television advert to kick off its celebrations.

So it’s all happening at John Lewis from this weekend! And to celebrate here on the blog, John Lewis are kindly offering one of my readers the chance to win a £50 John Lewis gift voucher – lovely! To be in with a chance of winning, simply use the rafflecopter below (clue: you’ll need to check back on my last post for an answer) and enter before the closing date of 27th May 2014, open to UK entrants only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck!

Disclosure: This is a collaborative post

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350 thoughts on “John Lewis celebrates 150 years of ‘a better way of doing business’”

  1. Deborah Williams

    I really like the Liberty Art Nouveau Notecards. i can imagine them all lined up together. They’d clash but in a good way 🙂

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  3. The Liberty Art Nouveau Notecards are classic – I have one that I use a guestbook, when friends and family come to stay.

  4. denise (whokilledlola on twitter)

    i like them all but if i had to choose i would go with the happy jackson range x

  5. The Art File Stationery is really pretty i love John Lewis i can spend a whole day browsing around the shop and spend to much cash ha

  6. Robert Tunnah

    Love the idea of a “Great Ideas” notebook. I have scraps of paper all over the place covered in scribbled inspirations, most of which get lost or forgotten, sooner or later.

  7. Pingback: Word of the Week - 2/5/14 | The Reading Residence

  8. The Notelets are fab! I have to say I like the ‘serious notebook’ as well – I love notebooks 🙂

  9. my favourite items are definitely the liberty art nouveau notecards! i absolutely love liberty patterns, and patterns in general. actually, last time i was in john lewis i bought a notebook with a liberty pattern on 🙂

  10. I really like the Art File Stationery. Thanks for the lovely giveaway, john lewis always has fab things.

  11. Sheila Reeves

    I love them all, but to pick one it would be Art File Stationery – the pencil cases remind me so much of ones I had as a kid

  12. Edward Guerreiro

    Like most here, I think the ‘Liberty Art Nouveau Notecards’ is the best of the three collections. Having said that, I also really like the ‘Serious notebook’ in the ‘The Happy Jackson range’.

  13. Yes, I like those Liberty Art Nouveau Cards too.

    Our school had a computer club with a few bbcs, but I don’t think I ever went. I did help my dad type pages of machine code into the zx81. At secretarial college, I learnt to type on a manual typewriter, then an electric. One lesson a week on a word-processor called peach text. Not come across anyone that’s even heard of that.

  14. Liberty Art Nouveau notelets are lovely – and I also adore the Notes, Thoughts, Ideas and Doodles book … and the pencil case in the Happy Jacksons range.

  15. Not an easy choice…… The Happy Jackson range looks fun…HOWEVER…my favourite would have to be the Art File Stationery 🙂

  16. I love the Liberty Art Nouveau notelets – I can lose hours in John Lewis so a voucher to actually buy something would be brilliant

  17. The ‘pen orgy’ pencil case did make me giggle (maybe I’m a teenager still inside this ‘that’ old body??)

  18. Helen Humphries

    I like the The Happy Jackson range, I love non-ringbound notebooks with elastic holders (don’t really know what it’s called LOL), so much easier for dipping into hand bags and retrieving and the simple bright colours of these are very appealing.

  19. All the choices are super cute 🙂 But I’d have to go with the Liberty Art Nouveau notelets too, beautiful!

  20. Janet Rawstron

    A difficult decision but if I have to choose one it would have to be the Liberty Art Nouveau notelets.

  21. I love the Liberty Art Nouveau Notecards. I can walk forever around the Liberty Store in London….John Lewis is good too of course!

  22. Liberty Art Nouveau notelets – I do have to admit though – I have never actually even stepped foot in John Lewis *GASP* Looks like I may be soon as they have some AMAZING things 🙂

  23. I really like the Liberty Art Nouveau Notecards. I will be honest, I’ve never been to John Lewis :O

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