UK: John Lewis to highlight British-made products
Department store retailer John Lewis is to show its support of British manufacturing by putting a 'Made in UK' logo on more than 4,000 products from next year.
The identifier will appear on ticketing and online product information from early 2012 to highlight British-made items - including the recently launched John Lewis & Co men's wear range.
The retailer currently works with over 130 companies which make its own-brand products, and also operates the Herbert Parkinson factory in Lancashire which weaves and produces its own-brand fabrics, duvets and pillows.
"We know that our customers want to make informed decisions about what they buy, and we know that they are interested in the provenance and sustainability of products," explained Christine Kasoulis, head of brand development at John Lewis.
"John Lewis is a British retailer, and our customers expect it to support other British firms wherever possible. For us, British manufacturing is about having pride in this country's skills and craftsmanship, and ensuring our customers get the quality of design and build that British products offer."
The 'Made in UK' symbol follows on from the department store's launch earlier this year of a 'Green' identifier, which is designed to help customers make more sustainable choices.
Currently appearing on 1,400 products, this has been so successful it will now be extended to more lines, including items made from bamboo, linen, coir and hemp; products which are made from over 50% recycled materials; or low energy products. It currently appears on 1,400 products.
The Green identifier appears on point of sale information for products carrying certification from FSC (Forest Stewardship Council), PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification), Fairtrade, Energy Savings Trust and the Rainforest Alliance.
"These identifiers are designed to add to the advice and service we already offer to customers, and ultimately make life easier," Kasoulis adds.
"They are part of our longer-term aspirations to help customers make choices about what they buy, whether they want to know more about the provenance of products, or if they are looking to lessen their environmental impact."
John Lewis has also invested in staff training to encourage behaviour change among its buying teams and increase the number of products that fit the Made in UK and green symbol criteria.
The John Lewis Partnership operates 35 John Lewis shops across the UK and 268 Waitrose supermarkets. The business has annual gross sales of over GBP8.2bn (US$13.1bn).
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