Sunday 20 June 2021 1:51 pm

John Lewis faces backlash over plan to hike fees for brands

John Lewis is facing a backlash from brands over how much they are being charged to stock products with the retail giant.

Brands already pay John Lewis up to 50 per cent of each sale in commissions and fees, however the company’s chair Dame Sharon White has enlisted Alix Partners to renegotiate this higher.

For comparison, Next charges brands 38 per cent to sell on its website and M&S charges a similar rate for its burgeoning clothes website.

The Sunday Times reports that there has been a major backlash to John Lewis’ plans, with a number of major brands hitting out.

The chief executive of one fashion brand told the Times he was “flabbergasted” by the plans as John Lewis’ fees were already “ridiculous”.

They said: “They are already the most expensive in the market. To do that after the year we’ve had was very disappointing. We are seriously looking at pulling out.”

It comes after fashion brand Seasalt recently chose to stop stocking their products with the mutual company, instead opting to list with Next and M&S.

John Lewis had already angered brands and consumers before Covid-19 struck by introducing a £1.50 charge for every product bought online and a £1.50 charge for every returned item.

A John Lewis spokesperson said: “The review looks at a range of themes such as marketing and shop space, as well as fees. We build trusting and fair relationships that benefit John Lewis and our suppliers.

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