Innovation at the Partnership

As a Partnership born out of experimentation, innovation continues to remain at the heart of our business today.



For six years the Partnership ran one of the largest retail innovation programmes in the UK. JLAB enabled start-ups and established businesses to pitch and then trial their innovative products and services with the John Lewis Partnership.

In 2018 JLAB was expanded to run all year round and recent successes include rolling out customer supper clubs with WeFiFo to 42 Waitrose & Partners shops following a successful trial. And CupClub™, which has developed a returnable drinks cup service to help reduce the use of disposable drinking cups, was piloted in the Partnership’s head office in 2019.



We are constantly developing new customer propositions for John Lewis and Waitrose. Examples include Wine Tasting at Home and virtual nurseryhome design and personal styling appointments

We are also looking at how tech can make us more efficient at what we do and we have a trial with Small Robots at our Waitrose farm.


John Vary - Futurologist of the John Lewis Partnership

The Partnership has a unique Futurologist role, whose job is to explore long-term future scenarios and help identify new opportunities in a fast changing world.

It’s not done in some mystical sci-fi way but using historical data, looking at trends and talking to people in other organisations such as banks, governments and even space agencies.

The team, led by John Vary, are based in an office they named Room Y, where they test out their propositions with no creative constraints.