• John Lewis to make debut in Europe with stores-in-stores in Holland  
  • Seven store-in-stores to open in de Bijenkorf shops
  • Andy Street says Asda is “brave” for withdrawing from Black Friday
  • He expects Black Friday to be bigger than ever

John Lewis will have its first physical presence in Europe after revealing plans to open shop-in-shops in Dutch department store group de Bijenkorf.

The first three shop-in-shops will open next Spring at de Bijenkorf’s flagship stores in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague, followed by four more by 2017.

The departments, which will between 300 sq ft and 500sq ft, will stock John Lewis’s own brand products across bed, bath, living and gifting.

John Lewis managing director Andy Street said: “We’re delighted to be debuting our first European shop-in-shop and de Bijenkorf is the perfect partner to enable us to bring John Lewis to a new customer base and country.

He added: “Our existing shop-in-shops in Singapore, the Phillipines and South Korea have been well received and are trading well.”

In May and July this year, John Lewis opened 14 shop-in-shops across Singapore and the Philippines and by last year had opened seven shop-in-shops in South Korea.

Street said the John Lewis remained to committed to expanding its physical space in the UK but hopes to announce more international collaborations in 2016.

The annoucement came at a media dinner last night where Street also talked about this year’s Black Friday.

He branded Asda’s decision not to take part in Black Friday as “brave” but says he still expects the event to be bigger than last year.

Street said he understood why Asda had made the move but that it won’t affect the sales phenomenon later this month.

“They (Asda) have been brave, but it doesn’t change Black Friday, the supplier deals are already there,” Street told reporters.

Due to John Lewis’ Never Knowingly Undersold pledge, Street said it has to participate in the event. “We cannot stand aside,” he said.

John Lewis has recruited 2,000 extra staff for the day and invested “tens of millions of pounds” in extra capacity to ensure orders can be met. Last year Black Friday was the group’s biggest sales week in its 150-year history.

He added: “Black Friday will be bigger again this year and it will be our biggest week by a mile.”

However, earlier this year Street questioned whether the Black Friday phenomenon was positive as it was “more challenging profitability-wise” having sales concentrated in a single period.

Last night he hinted that he still has reservations about the event. He said in future it might “help to say ‘hang on, let’s think about this’.”