John Lewis will launch an ad campaign next week setting itself apart from its high street rivals.

The£2 million initiative communicates the distinct components of the shopping experience at the department store group, which, it claims, it gets right in a retail environment where many stores have few obvious points of difference.

In one ad it pokes fun at rival retailers that employ promotions to drive footfall in stores. Other slogans read “you can’t put a price” on “shopping safe in the knowledge you’re getting a fair deal” and: “Of course you should shop around, but that shouldn’t mean leaving the building.”

In July, the retailer will unveil a second phase of the campaign featuring John Lewis employees for the first time.

John Lewis marketing director Gill Barr said: “For the first time, we are talking about parts of the John Lewis experience that customers recognise, but we haven’t talked about before.” She cited quality, breadth of range, value and the service offered by its knowledgeable partners.

The launch coincides with a period of flagging sales at the department store group, which is regarded as a high street bellwether. Today, the retailer revealed that sales at its department stores were down 4.7 per cent in the week to May 31 (click here to read more).

Barr said: “It is launching at a time when disposable incomes are constrained, so it is timely.” However, she denied that it was created with the downturn in mind specifically.

The 12-week drive, which was created by ad agency Lowe London, will run across outdoor, press and online.