John Lewis Partnership

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In 1993 I was appointed General Editor of the John Lewis Partnership. It was another amazing opportunity that came out of the blue. The Partnership owns John Lewis department stores and Waitrose supermarkets and everyone that works there owns the business, shares the profits and has a democratic say in how it’s run. And to make that feasible there is a lot of internal journalism – a magazine for the entire Partnership and local ones for each individual store. My job, which was part-time, was to oversee that journalism, oversee the PR department and have frank conversations with the Chairman about anything and everything. One of those conversations resulted in women being allowed to wear trousers! It was a complete departure from everything else I had ever done and a fascinating insight not just into the world of retail but into a fascinating business model. I had five very happy years there – and still shop with them faithfully.