Both Waitrose and John Lewis have changed their names to Waitrose & Partners and John Lewis & Partners respectively, in a move to acknowledge the 83,000 partners the company have.
The change has been designed to highlight their partnership business model and culture which, it says, differentiates them from their main competitors at a time when both businesses are investing in the service their partners offer.
This morning ‘John Lewis & Partners’ and ‘Waitrose & Partners’ were unveiled on the facades of John Lewis’s flagship shop on Oxford Street, which has undergone a multi-million pound refurbishment, its shop at White City, Westfield, and Waitrose’s shops in Edgware Road and Clerkenwell in London, as well as on johnlewis.com, waitrose.com, carrier bags, uniforms, trolleys, marketing activity, internal shop signs and selected lorries and vans.
The full identity change to all 348 Waitrose and 50 John Lewis shop facades and the combined fleet of 3,500 lorries and vans is being phased over a number of years to tie in with refurbishment plans.
In addition to investing in their identities the John Lewis Partnership said in June that it would continue to invest in both businesses at a rate of £400m-£500m per year, to enable the two retail businesses to differentiate themselves from other retailers by innovating in products, customer service and services.
The packaging of Waitrose own label product ranges will begin a programme of change from October, starting with the new Christmas range later this year, as well as the launch of its new ‘Free From’ range in October.
Both retailers are investing in their Partners to enhance their skills and product knowledge in order to deliver exceptional experiences. These include the creation of Customer Service Ambassadors who provide warm and personalised customer service front of store, the creation of healthy eating specialists, training Partners to offer a concierge style service and equipping Personal Stylists with the skills to deliver daily fashion talks; as well as investing in technology to improve customer service.
Rob Collins, Waitrose & Partners Managing Director, said: “This moment is far more significant than simply adding words and changing the design. It symbolises something bigger, expressing what’s different about our business and signalling our intent to make that difference count for even more: committed, knowledgeable Partners who care about the business they own, sharing their love of food and offering great customer service.”
The launch of the new identity is being supported by the first ever joint John Lewis & Partners and Waitrose & Partners national marketing campaign - the single biggest ever campaign for both brands outside of Christmas. It includes a new TV and cinema advert, which features children putting their heart into performing a school play to the sound of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody song and ends with the line ‘For us, it’s personal’.
Central to the campaign is a manifesto which will appear in print ads and will be spoken by real Partners from both John Lewis & Partners and Waitrose & Partners in a film played in John Lewis & Partners’ shops.
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