John Lewis Partnership chairman Charlie Mayfield has raised the prospect of taking the famous retail name overseas

“There are opportunities in other countries for the John Lewis and Waitrose brands. That’s something we’ll look to exploit,” he told the Marketing Society’s Retail Forum this week.

He cited Waitrose’s supply deals with foreign retailers, including HyperCity in India, as one example of expansion options available, but hinted that other avenues could also be considered.

Mayfield insisted that any such initiative was unlikely in the near future, because there are so many locations in the UK where the retailer does not yet have shops.

Big British store groups including Marks & Spencer, DSGi and Tesco have increasingly sought to launch overseas as domestic growth opportunities have become more limited.

Mayfield also reiterated that, although cautious about Christmas, he was not pessimistic. “The economy is not in bad shape,” he maintained.