The acquisition of Jessops into the John Lewis Partnership

Jessops at the time of acquisition in 1933

The first store of the Partnership outside of London

On the 28th March 1933, the John Lewis Partnership, which until this point had traded out of its two London based stores, agreed to take over Jessops of Nottingham, putting into actions their plans of expansion. Thusly, Jessops had the honour of being the first of the Partnership’s provincial stores.

Success prompts further investment

Partners were sent from London to Jessops to lend a hand in an attempt to turn around the shop’s fortunes. By the first year, turnover had already risen by 30%! As the world marched towards a second war, Jessops sales figures marched upwards, prompting further provincial stores to be taken over by the Partnership in following years.

Comments about this page

  • My paternal grandfather, David Rees, was sent by Mr John Spedan Lewis to be the first General Manager at Jessops. My grandfather held this position until he retired and his obituary and photograph appeared in The Gazette when he died at the age of 80. As a young child I visited the store at least once a week with my mother. I made friends with Stan the lift man, who had an artificial hand in the most shiny leather glove, which he used to open and close the concertina lift gate. The ladies in the office became my aunties, especially Miss Hollis and Ruth. The fur buyer, Miss Griffiths used to let me try on the coats when she wasn’t busy, and Miss Farrah the dress buyer, became a very great friend of my parents, apart from choosing always perfect outfits for my mother, who was one of the best dressed ladies in Nottingham.

    By Marilyn Nagli (nee Rees) (18/04/2021)

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