People and Partners

Partners and the community


In 1864 Mr John Lewis opened his first shop on Oxford Street in London.

However, it was his son, John Spedan Lewis, who conceived the philosophy that ensured a job in his company would be quite different from working anywhere else. He thought the benefits of owning a business should be shared amongst those who worked in it and in 1914 he began putting his ideas into action.

At Peter Jones, in Sloane Square which his father had purchased in 1905, Spedan Lewis promised the staff they would share in the profits. By 1920 he was able to fulfil his promise and nine years later he created a trust to take over the assets of the company and run it as a Partnership.

A Staff Council was set up to allow all members of staff to participate in how the business was being run. He also set up a house magazine “The Gazette” which is still printed weekly and available to all Partners.

In 1950 he relinquished his remaining interest in the business leaving the staff alone to develop the business as they saw fit.