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UK's Retailer John Lewis Abandons 96-Year Old Price Pledge

UK's Retailer John Lewis Abandons 96-Year Old Price Pledge
John Lewis, a British department store chain, has said that it will end its "Never Knowingly Undersold" pricing guarantee, which it has maintained since 1925.
The pledge states that the John Lewis, which is owned by its employees. would match the price on like-for-like branded items sold both online and in stores by major retailers. It does not, however, apply to online-only shops.
“Never Knowingly Undersold has been a cherished sign of trust for John Lewis for a century but it doesn't fit with how customers shop today as more purchases are made online," said executive director Pippa Wicks.
Instead, John Lewis said it will invest £500 million ($669 million) this year to keep pricing competitive, up 25 per cent from 2021, as it anticipates customers becoming more cost vigilant.
According to a study released on Friday, British consumer confidence dropped the most month-on-month since the start of the coronavirus epidemic in February, indicating concerns about rapidly rising inflation, greater taxes, and rising interest rates.
Inflation in the United Kingdom rose to 5.5 per cent in January, the highest level in over 30 years, and the Bank of England anticipates it to peak at roughly 7.25 per cent in April, when a 54 per cent increase in regulated home energy bills takes effect.
The John Lewis department store company is owned by the John Lewis Partnership, which also operates the upscale Waitrose supermarket.
After a 517 million pound loss in 2020-21 owing to the pandemic, the partnership is expected to disclose full year results on March 10. The company's half-year results, released in September, showed a return to profitability. Nearer the time, John Lewis said it will notify consumers of an exact date when Never Knowingly Undersold expires.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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