Jason Tarry has the right retail expertise to help John Lewis Partnership succeed, says GlobalData

Following the news of ex-CEO of Tesco UK & Ireland, Jason Tarry, announced as replacing Dame Sharon White as chair of John Lewis Partnership.

Zoe Mills, Lead Retail Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Jason Tarry was at the helm of Tesco during the crucial development of its Clubcard loyalty scheme, taking the discounters head-on and creating a retail model that its competitors have emulated since. He certainly has the experience and knowhow to rejuvenate the John Lewis Partnership.

“This new challenge for Tarry will require a different tactic to that employed at Tesco, with Marks & Spencer, rather than the discounters, a clear threat to John Lewis’ long-term success. Marks & Spencer is forecast to continue to gradually grow market share in the UK clothing & footwear sector out to 2027, as the retailer’s focus on improved fashion pays off. Indeed, better perceptions of quality have aided sales in recent months and allowed Marks & Spencer to cut back on promotions as shoppers see the worth of purchasing at full price. In comparison, John Lewis & Partners’ share is expected to stagnate until 2027 – Tarry will need to adopt a similar strategy to Marks & Spencer to improve quality perception and protect profit margins.

“Within Waitrose & Partners, Tarry must not lose sight of its more premium proposition. While remaining price-competitive will be crucial, as within general merchandise, the focus must be on quality and justifying higher price points to entice shoppers to trade up. Waitrose has sensibly preserved premium touches such as fresh-food counters; Tarry would be unwise to strip these out of the business as was the case at Tesco.”

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