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24 July 2013 | Will Green
Retailer John Lewis has announced a target to boost sales of UK-sourced goods to £550 million by the end of 2015.
Sales of UK products totalled £480 million in 2012 – up 9 per cent on 2011 – but the company wants to see this grow by 15 per cent over the next two years. Gross sales in 2012 were £3.78 billion.
Currently 10,500 products, out of the total 350,000 sold in John Lewis, are made in the UK and feature the store’s signifier of a small union flag.
As part of its aim to “support UK business and encourage entrepreneurship” the retailer increased its UK suppliers from 132 last year to the current 207. Stephen Cawley, head of sustainability, said: “John Lewis has a long-standing commitment to support UK design and manufacture.
“We are proud to support British craftsmanship and skills and we believe UK suppliers can offer outstanding quality, design and innovation, which customers tell us they appreciate and which is why we have set ourselves a target of increasing UK-made products by 15 per cent by 2015.”
The announcement comes on the 60th anniversary of John Lewis’ manufacturing arm, Herbert Parkinson in Lancashire. Employing 250 staff, the factory produces 7,000 metres of fabric each week to be used in curtains, blinds, duvets, pillows and cushions.
Stuart McDonald, managing director at Herbert Parkinson, said: “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.”
There are 39 John Lewis stores across the UK.