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John Lewis to go ‘digital first’ as it plans to drop ‘never knowingly undersold’ price-match pledge

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For 95 years, department store John Lewis has stood by its ‘never knowingly undersold’ price-match pledge.

The promise means that it will match the prices of other bricks-and-mortar high street shops. This excludes online retailers.

It gives customers 28 days after purchase to request a refund for the cost difference if they find the product cheaper elsewhere.

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Now the John Lewis Partnership is considering abandoning the promise as it makes a radical shift towards online retail in a bid to survive.

This comes under extensive plans by new John Lewis Partnership chair, Dame Sharon White, to change shake up its business model.

Talking to the Sunday Times, she said of the company’s promise and slogan: “The proposition is important because it signifies being fair to society. We’re reviewing it to improve it.”

She also cited a move to a “digital first” retail offering in order to stay ahead of competitors.

This comes after a difficult period for the company, which announced the closure of eight stores only last month.

Online, people have reacted positively to White’s approach. Bill Grimsey, former CEO of Iceland, Wickes and more companies, tweeted: “Her vision for the future of JL is radical, relevant, modern, courageous, inclusive and will save JL currently not far behind Debs & HF to crash land.”

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