The 1930's; a period of growth

The John Lewis silk room in the 1930's
The John Lewis silk room in the 1930's
The exterior of John Lewis by 1939
The exterior of John Lewis by 1939

Innovative services became available

By the early 1930’s, both John Lewis and Peter Jones were run together, as a ‘co-operative society of producers’. This allowed for the setting up of a number of innovative services and departments, including a department featuring the new electrical appliances, such as gramophones and vacuum cleaners.  Despite these additions, silks and dress fabrics were still the top sellers.

For the staff there was a new medical department offering free health care before the introduction of the NHS.

In 1935, Spedan Lewis bought further property on Oxford Street in order to expand further, as a building formally belonging to DH Evans was assimilated by the Partnership.

Expanding outside of London

In the 1930’s the Partnership expanded outside of London for the first time. 1933 saw the acquisition of Jessops and Lance and Lance in Nottingham and Western Super-Mare respectively. And in 1934, Knight and Lee of Portsmouth and Tyrrell and Green of Southampton become the fifth and sixth branches of the Partnership.

These branches would, by the end of the decade, be absolutely vital to the Partnership’s very existence, particularly after the bombing of Oxford Street in 1940.

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