John Lewis plans major international online expansion

UK department store group John Lewis, the big success on the UK high street in recent years, is planning its first major foray abroad by launching its website in 12 European countries in June and 25 others around the world, including the US, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, in August.

CEO Charlie Mayfield says the company has no plans to open stores in any of these locations. Its products will be delivered by courier.

John Lewis, which also owns the Waitrose supermarket chain in the UK, has just reported profits up from £307m to £368m on over £10bn of sales, a ten per cent increase.

John Lewis is a partnership owned by its employees so it will be able to take a hit on its margins without needing to worry about the City. In the first years at least such an ambitious courier-based operation is bound to be expensive.

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