Welcome to The Memory Store


Peter Jones store (1893)
Exterior of the Peter Jones Store (1893)
  John Lewis general departments 1899
John Lewis general departments 1899

The Memory Store uses the the Archive of the John Lewis Partnership to bring to life in words and pictures a very special story. It's the story of how the lives of ordinary people have changed over the past 150 years and the way they have equipped themselves and their homes to meet their changing needs and expectations.

The twentieth century was also a time of great growth for the John Lewis Partnership. It saw the business grow from a single shop in London's West End into the country's biggest department store chain and, through its Waitrose division, into a leading food retailer. Thanks to the foresight of its first Chairman, John Spedan Lewis, the John Lewis Partnership is now one of the world's largest employee cooperatives. The company is owned in trust for the benefit of those who work in it.

Photograph of Acton Lane Waitrose c.1914
Acton Lane Waitrose c.1914
click to enlarge

This fascinating history - from the early profit-sharing ideas of John Spedan Lewis to the innovative, multichannel co-owned business the John Lewis Partnership is today - is explored in a new twelve minute film, ‘The Partnership Story’.

Click here to view.

The Memory Store explains how a retail business like John Lewis helped to improve the lives of those who worked and shopped in it. We hope you enjoy your visit.

We've collected our memories of the way people dressed, shopped, worked and played into three sections. Click on any one to start your own personal journey.

The information on this site has been designed to help children in school at Key Stages Two and Three.

Take the


Please visit one of our other sites:

link to John Lewis Partnership websitelink to John Lewis websitelink to Waitrose website