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John Lewis to rival Klarna with buy-now-pay-later development

John Lewis CEO Nish Kankiwala has revealed the department store is looking to develop a Klarna-style buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) offer for customers.

“I think we will develop a buy-now-pay-later product. Especially in the younger generation, people expect it,” Kankiwala told The Mail on Sunday.

Currently, John Lewis offers BNPL on a range of high-priced items costing over £500, and unlike many other retailers, it has not partnered with the likes of Klarna or any of its rivals.

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The move comes as John Lewis chair Dame Sharon White recently revealed financial services is a growth area for the omnichannel retailer, with plans to invest £100 million into its financial services business over the next five years.

Kankiwala added that John Lewis is “not as efficient in some areas” compared to other retailers.

As a result, the company has implemented its Partnership Plan, drawn up by White three years ago, which aims to cut costs improve service and branch out into areas including financial services.

‘We are midway through it,” he admits. “We have had the cost of living, rising utility bills and an additional £180 million of costs.

“It means we need to go even harder in some areas of the plan where I can bring my skills into play. Number one – I am fixated on customers. Growing up as I did, I can think of a thousand examples of learning from customers because they tell you the truth, though you might not like it.”

Kankiwala added: “Number two is cost. With all the extra expenditure coming out of the business we have to make sure we are as productive as possible. In some areas, we are not as efficient as other retailers. We need to look at waste and the supply chain.

“The third area we need to supercharge is technology. We’ve not invested as fast as we should have.”

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