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John Lewis open to young labels

John Lewis is to “turn up its boutique factor” and is looking to takeon more up-and-coming brands following the recession.

The department store chain’s head of buying for womenswear Jo Hooper told delegates at the Next Generation Academy that John Lewis was striving to strike a balance between established brands and young design talent in store.

The retailer will seek to build its up-and-coming designer brand portfolio in a bid to offer diverse product and increase the fashionability of its product.

Hooper added that John Lewis “perhaps needed to be more imaginative than before” and the fact that the retailer had been recognised as having a fashion offer that is “conservative with a small c” was “not good enough”.

She said: “We still have to cater for our [older] customer but in a [recession] you have got to produce gorgeousness”. She added that now more than ever retailers should look at stocking small labels.

Hooper said that John Lewis aims to be a £1bn international multichannel business. She said: “We’ve really been investing in that and in our womenswear floors - not only to bring it into the 21st century, but beyond.”

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