John Lewis is launching its first collection of UK-manufactured footwear for autumn 12 as part of the department store chain’s push to champion British manufacturing.
Both men’s and women’s own-label autumn 12 footwear collections will go into stores in August. They are being produced in conjunction with Northamptonshire footwear manufacturer NPS Shoes.
Described as heritage and workwear inspired, the men’s range will comprise five styles with retail prices between £160 and £170. The women’s capsule collection will be made up of eight styles including brogues, Chelsea boots and loafers, with prices starting at £165.
The move follows a buyers’ showcase at John Lewis last October, designed to inspire its buyers to source more products – a combination of branded and own label – from UK manufacturers.
The footwear will be available online and in four John Lewis stores: London Oxford Street, Peter Jones on Sloane Square, Cheadle and Cribbs Causeway, although John Lewis did not rule out putting it into more stores for spring 13.
According to John Lewis assistant buyer men’s footwear Karl Bentley, from September the retailer will launch a raft of marketing initiatives for its entire UK-made offer, including flagging it up in-store via point-of-sale material.
“We launched our men’s clothing line, John Lewis & Co, and a lot of that is UK-made so it made sense to launch a range of British-made shoes as part of the same range,” he said.