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John Lewis expands its international strategy

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John Lewis is taking steps to expand further its international coverage, after a year in which online international sales have increased by 50%. At the same time, international traffic to its website has increased by 15%.

The department store, an Elite retailer in IRUK Top500 research, has extended from 33 to 40 the number of countries that it delivers to through its website, Now customers can order for delivery to countries including Hong Kong, The Philippines and Malaysia. As well as this, customers can now choose from 10 extra currencies when making payment.

The move comes as John Lewis has said it will have a physical presence in Australia for the first time, when it opens shop-in-shops in six branches of Australian department store Myer. The first will open before Christmas in the outskirts of Sydney and feature the home products that John Lewis data shows are popular with its overseas customers. Bed linen accounts for 21% of its own brand international sales, with Egyptian cotton pillowcases among the bestselling items.

Katie Jordan, head of international development at John Lewis , said: “We’re delighted to be expanding our international presence and bringing John Lewis to new countries around the world, both through physical collaborations and by expanding our online international delivery destinations.”

Our view: It’s noticeable that both John Lewis and sister supermarket Waitrose have acted recently to expand their international coverage. Waitrose is selling in China and to expats as it looks to grow its grocery sales. Meanwhile, John Lewis is moving ahead with a strategy that has already seen shop-in-a-shops in the Philippines and stores at Heathrow and St Pancras Internaitonal that are designed to raise brand awareness.

All of this comes at a time when sterling has fallen against the dollar and other international currencies, making British retail unexpectedly good value.

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