John Lewis

The John Lewis partnership has appointed its first ever pan-partnership head of loyalty, in what looks to be a major consolidation of the retail mutual’s loyalty scheme offer. 

Emily Wells will be responsible for leading the loyalty programmes and teams across both John Lewis and Waitrose. Her responsibilities will include the development and launch of a “new pan-partnership loyalty proposition” set to go live in 2024.

Wells, who is set to join the business in June, will report into John Lewis customer director Charlotte Lock, She has spent the past five years at Tesco, most recently as its head of loyalty strategy.

Her appointment comes alongside the signing of two new strategic agreements with customer analytics firm Dunnhumby and retail insights company Eagle Eye. 

The five-year agreements will improve JLP’s customer loyalty and personalisation offer. It will also support the growth of JLP’s Insights & Media service, and will open up collaboration opportunities with suppliers across its websites, store footprint and inhouse printed media, the mutual said. 

Emily Wells JLP

“Today’s announcements show the ambition we have to transform how our much-loved brands can deliver a more personalised experience for customers,” Lock said. “With Emily’s appointment and our new partnerships with Dunnhumby and Eagle Eye, we can better help our customers however, whenever and wherever they shop with us.”

The partnership aims to “deepen our relationships with customers” and improve the range of benefits on offer to members, following the relaunch of its MyWaitrose and John Lewis loyalty schemes last year.

A spokeswoman for JLP declined to confirm whether the new pan-partnership scheme would replace the two separate loyalty programmes.

MyWaitrose, which has around nine million members, was beset by complaints following its relaunch in February 2022.

The loyalty scheme provides members with personalised money-off rewards and vouchers. However, customers have complained about high spending thresholds, and difficulty redeeming the offers in time.

Waitrose has seen its market share suffer during the cost of living crisis as customers cut back on spending. Waitrose sales fell 3% to £7.31bn during the 12 months to 28 January.

While sales nudged up slightly at John Lewis, the partnership as a whole fell to a £234m loss.