John Lewis online director Mark Lewis said there would be more change in retail in the next three to five years than within our generation.
Lewis told the Internet Retailing Conference that the pace of innovation in new technology would drive this change.
He said: “Our customers are embracing new technologies and that in turn is fundamentally changing how they go about their shopping and what they expect of retailers.”
Lewis said that John Lewis was just at the start of its omnichannel journey and said that the change in technology and customer adoption of that technology was forcing a rethink in how retailers operate and invest.
“It’s not about building a new shiny website, it’s about business model change,” he said.
Lewis highlighted a “dramatic shift” in the amount it had invested in IT. He said that investment would have a massive impact in the culture, skillset and financial architecture of a business.
Despite this investment Lewis said that John Lewis would still invest in the brand as it was core to its online success.
He said: “In this world of instant access, instant price comparison, instant social reviews, at the heart what we’ve chosen to stand for is trust. It’s the very kernel of the John Lewis brand.”