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John Lewis appoints AlixPartners to conduct supply chain review

The review, which is thought to be ongoing, will also reportedly aim to strengthen relationships between the company and its suppliers

John Lewis has reportedly appointed AlixPartners to conduct a strategic review of its supply chain and buying habits. 

According to Drapers, the restructuring firm has been instructed to examine its supply chain and its buying practises, including intake margins, in order to see if it can save variable costs. 

The review, which is thought to be ongoing, will also reportedly aim to strengthen relationships between the company and its suppliers.

A John Lewis spokesperson told Retail Sector: “We’re working with AlixPartners in a number of ways – including deepening our relationships with suppliers and finding ways we can grow our businesses together.”

The move comes as the firm looks to save costs during a difficult time for the sector with many businesses looking to tighten their belts where possible. 

It also follows calls from its chair, Sharon White, last month urging chancellor Rishi Sunak to scrap the business rates system in favour of a new land tax which could help “level up” the playing field when it comes to physical and online retail.

Speaking to The Telegraph at the time, White said that reform is needed to create a more “stable and enduring” way to tax.

She told the paper: “If I’m frustrated it’s because we haven’t yet had action on the structural issue, which is that the business rates regime was designed for a world in which retail dominated the high street.”

White also dismissed calls for an online sales tax, calling the idea that there is such a divisive line between bricks and mortar retailers and online retailers “fiction”.

She added that John Lewis’ focus is now on ensuring its survival through adapting to the changing expectations of retail.

Earlier this year, John Lewis closed eight of its 42 John Lewis at the time, placing 1,465 jobs at risk.

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