Newly re-branded John Lewis & Partners this morning (13 September) announced a near 99% drop in group earnings for the first half of the year on the back of costs related to new shop openings and higher IT costs, as it continues to shape itself for future growth. Despite the glum result, analysts have rejected the claim the result spells the end of brick-and-mortar retailers. Instead, the majority argue John Lewis has a real opportunity to create a streamlined multi-channel offering to cater to the way today's consumer now shops. Physical stores, they argue, are still an essential part of the comprehensive retail offering and complement other means of shopping.