The inside view from John Lewis personnel director Laura Whyte

Who makes the ideal John Lewis employee?

“Individuals who see customer service as their number one priority and who have a flexible approach.”

What is the John Lewis ethos?

“Our partners are team players. The aim is to be the most trusted retailer where customers love to shop and partners love to work.”

As a workplace, what sets John Lewis apart from its rivals?

“Partners take pride in delivering an outstanding customer experience and in enjoying a share of our financial success.”

How do you strive to retain your staff?

“By ensuring partners have the opportunities to move their careers into any number of disciplines. Our comprehensive training supports them in their roles.”

How do you ensure your employees have a good work/life balance?

“All have the opportunity to apply for flexible working.”


Founded 1864

Based London

Staff 27,000

Stores 27

Number of days’ holiday Four weeks, which increases with length of service. Management start with five weeks

Key employee benefits Being a co-owner of the business with a profit share scheme – last year this was worth 13 per cent of individuals’ salary. Employees also benefit from a final salary non-contributory pension scheme after a qualifying period, and a discount in John Lewis and Waitrose