John Lewis is expected to reveal it has signed a deal to be the official retailer of the London Olympics. As part of the agreement, to be revealed by Andy Street, John Lewis managing director, on Monday, it is expected that the chain will become the appointed store to the games.

It is also expected that it will offer an Olympic shop at its new store in Stratford, bordering the games site, and possibly at its flagship department store in Oxford Street, selling Olympic merchandise.

The deal is a further boost for John Lewis, which enjoyed record festive trading in spite of the recession.

A barometer of high street spending, it received a boost from its customers having more money in their pockets from lower interest rates.

But its unique ownership structure – it is owned by the 69,000 staff employed by the store chain, upmarket supermarket Waitrose and the financial services business Greenbee – has also captured shoppers’ imagination, alongside its promise to beat other store groups on price.

The Olympic link could add to its appeal, with the chain already dubbed “the moral face of retailing,” by one experienced analyst.

John Lewis is also no stranger to the games, being an anchor tenant of Westfield’s Stratford City shopping centre, and a supporter of London’s bid to host the Olympics. Four years ago, the John Lewis Partnership, which owns John Lewis, Waitrose and Greenbee, became a Champion Supporter of the London 2012 committee.

Meanwhile, John Lewis’s trial of stand-alone home and electrical stores is progressing well. The chain is not likely to provide an update until March, and a proposal to expand the concept is expected to be put to the board in the next month or two. However, it is likely that the chain will get the go-ahead to roll out more stand-alone stores, with up to 50 mooted.

Image: Olympic 2012 logo
Source: FT

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