Thursday 19 August 2021 12:01 am

John Lewis launches investment products as it looks beyond retail for revenue

John Lewis has today launched investment products for the first time ever, as the retailer ramps up its plans to find revenue streams in other sectors.

Entering the investments market is, the company said in a statement, part of its longer term ambition for 40 per cent of the company’s profits to come from outside retail by 2030.

In a show of commitment to this goal John Lewis said it plans to spend £100m over the next five years to quadruple its financial services business.

The British retailer also announced earlier this year its plans to build 10,000 rental homes in the next 10 years as it diversifies its portfolio.

The move into the investments market by the British retailer, in collaboration with UK digital wealth manager Nutmeg, also follows the relaunch of its home insurance and retail credit offers earlier in the year.

The 157-year old partnership’s plans to focus on profits outside of retail come after a difficult year marred by lockdowns and the closure of eight of its stores putting almost 1,500 jobs at risk as the shift to online shopping was accelerated by the pandemic.

The three investment products it has launched are a Junior ISA, a general investment account and a stocks and shares ISA. They are aimed, the company said in a statement, at “those who otherwise would not consider investing,” and are the newest addition to the department store’s financial services division.

John Lewis said customers could start investing with £100 and choose a timeframe and risk level “that suits them”.

The firm said its investment products, which focus on businesses that score highly in terms of ESG, were created following a survey of 2,000 people conducted on behalf of John Lewis by OnePoll on how the pandemic has affected how people think about money.

Almost three quarters of the respondents said they would consider investing in stocks and shares rather than just putting their money into a current account.

“More than ever,” said Amir Goshtai, John Lewis financial services director, speaking about the pandemic, people “want to secure their financial future and that of their families.”

John Lewis’ investment products, he said, would help people “take that first step into what is often perceived as the complicated world of investments.”