My mother used to love shopping at John Lewis, and M&S, but personally, I’m a Primark girl, so I can’t claim to be overly familiar with the JL brand, and while this show wasn’t the most earth-shatteringly entertaining thing I’ve ever watched, it was mildly interesting.
However, it was made that little bit more watchable by the input of John Lewis’s managing director, Andy Street. His PA branded him ‘unorganisable’ and he sweetly agreed wholeheartedly that he is.
He also explained why it is that he’s happy to exist on a mere 75 times the wage of their average employee; “We’re not paid as much as colleagues running other organizations, but I put it to you that this is a far more fulfilling job.”
Well, if overseeing the sale of homewares and clothing presses your buttons, and clearly it presses Andy’s, then I can see his point. However, I would probably have had to argue that to describe a career in retail as “fulfilling” might be overreaching. I mean, it’s not being a surgeon or something is it?
But there, what do I know; I’ve only ever worked in the lowest paid retail jobs – on the tills – so I guess fulfillment might have come my way had I worked my way up the corporate ladder…
So, along with Andy’s jolly narrative, we got to see other behind-the-curtain footage and heard gushing testimonials from JL’s customers, including some ladies who compared JL’s curtain making service to the concept of creationism…
“God made the world in seven days, and John Lewis will make your curtains in seven days” she enthused.
Another lady rhapsodised on the wide variety of goods that’re available at JL when she said that at John Lewis, one can get, “knickers, school uniform, saucepans . . .”
So it seems if you’re an underwear wearing school goer who cooks, JL is the go-to place. Others similarly evangelised about the chain however, even stalwarts like JL can’t escape the spectre of the recession. Reluctantly, the normally glass half-full Andy – or at least, that’s how he came across – conceded, “Our model is too costly. The recession has revealed this fact.”
Well, let’s face it, if Woolies can go under, nobody’s safe, but as we saw in last night’s show, JL are ploughing on, trying to ignore that pesky business of recession and are building new stores. I’m sure we’ll get to see more of that as the series progresses.
However, unless there is literally nothing else on, I don’t think I’ll be tuning in again. It’s not that the show was boring, but equally, it wasn’t compulsive viewing either. What did you think of it?