The new John Lewis boss, Peter Ruis, is planning to ramp up the number of shopfloor staff in a “Selfridges-style approach”, according to reports.

Speaking to The Times, Ruis revealed plans to renegotiate contracts with fashion brands at John Lewis so they can pay a lower rate of commission in exchange for increased staff levels on the shopfloor.

Calling it a “Selfridges-style” approach, Ruis hopes to deliver improved customer service to give John Lewis a boost.

It is understood he believes shopfloor staffing levels at John Lewis have been stripped back too far.

According to the department store’s latest research, increased staffing levels could boost its sales in those concessions by a double-digit percentage.

The bosses of several John Lewis suppliers told the newspaper their commission rates would have to drop for them to get on board.

Commissions at the department store are among the highest in the retail industry at between 40% and 50%.

A spokesperson for John Lewis said: “John Lewis has always innovated and embraced different working models with suppliers to ensure we’re best delivering for our customers.

“We already have brand consultants across our departments, including fashion, and have done so for many years.”

Ruis, who formerly held senior roles at Jigsaw, Anthropologie and Indigo in Canada, was named executive director in January this year.

He replaced Naomi Simcock, who ran John Lewis on an interim basis after Pippa Wicks stepped down from the business.