Magazine article Marketing

DIRECT: John Lewis Plans Major Customer Contact Work

Magazine article Marketing

DIRECT: John Lewis Plans Major Customer Contact Work

Article excerpt

The John Lewis Partnership is planning a major investment in relationship marketing this year to counter recent steps taken by rivals such as Debenhams and House of Fraser.

The staff-owned department store group, which endured a tough pre-Christmas trading period along with many of its high-street rivals, is to create a regular customer contact programme to coincide with the launch of its own-brand credit card in the first half of the year.

Andrew Woodward, head of marketing for John Lewis, said relationship marketing would help the group achieve its ambition of becoming a multi-channel retailer.

Although he declined to comment on details such as the budget or customer segmentation approach, it is clear that the investment will create closer ties with John Lewis customers following Debenhams' involvement in the Nectar loyalty scheme, and House of Fraser's launch of its Recognition programme.

It emerged at the end of December that Murray Hennessey, commercial director of John Lewis Partnership, was leaving his post to become chief executive of car rental firm Avis Europe. …

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