John Lewis under fire from brands for ‘ridiculous’ fees

Sharon White’s department store chain has been called out for its ‘ridiculous’ charges, as brands seek listings elsewhere

John Lewis is in hot water with its brands for allegedly charging outlandish fees and commissions.

The department store chain, whose model has come under threat from cheaper online sites, is reported to be charging brands up to 50% of every sale in commissions and fees, said The Times.

The Chief Executive of one fashion brand is said to have been “flabbergasted” when John Lewis had tried to raise the already “ridiculous” prices.

Another fashion brand from the UK’s Cornwall region, Seasalt, is said to have cut ties with John Lewis, citing “strategic reasons” and said it would be focusing on partnerships with competitors Marks & Spencer and Next.

Prior to Covid, John Lewis had already rattled its brands by introducing an extra £1.50 charge for every product ordered online and the same fee for every return.

John Lewis said it would not reveal its supplier fees due to being “commercially sensitive”, however, it did confirm that it has hired management consultancy firm Alix Partners to review its marketing, shop space and fees.

“We build trusting and fair relationships that benefit John Lewis and our suppliers,” a spokesperson told Cosmetics Business.

“In the last six months, we’ve introduced 90 new fashion brands, which demonstrates that we are an attractive partner to our suppliers.”

The retail staple, helmed by Sharon White, is also expected to expand its beauty offering throughout 2021.

Back in February, following its partnership with It Cosmetics, the employee-owned company said it would be revealing these throughout the year.

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