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NEW John Lewis Solihull MD Julie Blake believes the recession-beating borough branch will easily withstand the opening of their Birmingham store in 2014.

While last year has seen huge British retailers such as Comet and JJB Sports fall into administration, John Lewis has gone from strength to strength.

While last year has seen huge British retailers such as Comet and JJB Sports fall into administration, John Lewis has gone from strength to strength.

With a new branch so close, Julie admitted it could attract some Solihull customers but said she was happy to welcome another member of the John Lewis family.

“Why wouldn’t we want another John Lewis?” said the MD, who joined Solihull last month.

“We have to look at it in a broader picture. Whenever we open a new shop, it’s all about making sure customers can get to a John Lewis within a 40 minute drive.

“We very much think the new shop will complement and not threaten Solihull.

“Solihull has been open ten years now and it’s a very important and established shop for John Lewis. It is holding its own.”

Julie said the reason behind John Lewis’s success was because in uncertain times, customers wanted a retailer they could trust.

“Customers trust our service, our pricing strategy and how we will handle returns,” said the 46 year-old.

“They value their relationship with us.

“We have also been investing in our online service.

“It’s all about convenience. We’re very accessible and we’ve being very agile about how customers want to shop.”

When Julie joined John Lewis 28 years ago, she spent most of her first week folding knitwear.

Despite the less-than-thrilling introduction, she said she ‘never looked back’ and went onto become head of department, then general manager of John Lewis’ flagstreet Oxford Street store before becoming MD.

 

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