British high street retail giant John Lewis Partnerships is to pump up to £40 million into a new website and catalogue business.

Around 5,000 of the partnership's products, which include supermarket group Waitrose, will be sold over the internet and through mail order after the partnership turned around the failed US e-tailer Buy.com.

"Selling via the net marks John Lewis' introduction into direct selling, something the partnership will be developing further in the near future," said John Lewis Direct's managing director, Murray Hennessy.


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