John Lewis boss Andy Street said Best Buy underestimated the competition when it launched in the UK.
Street said the department store would create enough jobs to replace those under threat from Best Buy’s demise. Up to 1,100 jobs are at risk following Carphone Warehouse’s decision to close the 11 big box stores, which were designed to shake up electrical retailing with cheaper prices and better customer service.
Street told The Guardian: “I don’t want to get into criticism but the competitors must have done a better job than they [Best Buy] expected. The US model is keen prices combined with high service. The truth of the matter is that prices were already extremely keen and high service is being provided by us…Put that together and there was not a gap in the market.”
John Lewis is creating 1,000 jobs this year and plans to add a similar number next year as it prepares to open four “At Home” electricals, home and technology stores in Newbury, Chichester, Ashford and a further undisclosed location.
The retailer has a 10 year expansion plans to increase from 35 to 60 stores.