John Lewis, the UK’s leading department store, has announced that it is abandoning its famous price promise, Never Knowingly Undersold. The pledge, which has been in place for over 95 years, guaranteed that John Lewis would match the price of any identical product found cheaper elsewhere.
The decision to discontinue the price promise comes as part of a wider strategy to cut costs and streamline the business. John Lewis has been struggling in recent years, with falling sales and profits, and the COVID-19 pandemic has only added to its woes.
The Never Knowingly Undersold pledge was seen as a key differentiator for John Lewis, and was a major selling point for customers. However, the company has now decided that it is no longer sustainable, and that it needs to focus on other areas of the business.
In a statement, John Lewis said: “We have taken the difficult decision to discontinue our Never Knowingly Undersold pledge. This is not a decision we have taken lightly, but we believe it is the right thing to do for our business and our customers.”
The move has been met with mixed reactions from customers and industry experts. Some have praised John Lewis for taking a bold step to address its financial challenges, while others have expressed disappointment that the company is abandoning a key part of its brand identity.
One thing is clear, however: the retail landscape is changing rapidly, and traditional department stores like John Lewis are facing increasing competition from online retailers and discount stores. In order to survive and thrive in this new environment, companies need to be agile and adaptable, and willing to make tough decisions.
For John Lewis, the decision to abandon its price promise is just one of many changes that will be needed to ensure its long-term success. The company will need to continue to innovate and evolve, and find new ways to meet the changing needs and expectations of its customers.