John Lewis: "Tesco pulled back from tech because they can't excite customers like others can" - PC Retail

John Lewis: "Tesco pulled back from tech because they can't excite customers like others can"

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Department store chain John Lewis says Tesco scaled back from tech because it lacks an exciting in-store experience, and says it "wants to own Christmas" following its popular Snowman ad last year.

Johnathan Marsh, head of buying for consumer electronics and white goods, told PCR that John Lewis can fill a gap left by Tesco.

"Where they occupy today is generally around the low value commoditised sector and clearly they’ve done very well in that space," he said. "But if you look at the future of technology and where the manufacturers are heading, it’s all about innovation, creating experiences and exciting customers, and that’s what’s John Lewis does best.

"We have these fabulous partners in store that are expertly trained, give you a real good customer experience and we pride ourselves on that. The fact that Apple and Samsung are investing so much money in terms of R&D and innovation, that’s the future of technology.

"I think Tesco pulled back from it because they just can’t compete, they can’t offer that type of customer experience and excite their customers like other people can around this new technology. And that is the future. 

"I look at every single manufacturer out there and the ones that aren’t innovating, the ones that are using commoditised old technologies are the ones that will fall by the wayside and die out. Only those with really strong R+D are the ones that will be successful in the future."

Marsh also talked about how John Lewis plans to "own Christmas", following its hugely popular snowman TV ad which aired last year. This was searched for on Google twice as much as the classic Coca Cola Christmas ad last year.

"We are [working on a similar ad this year], so watch this space. The way we talk about this internally is we want to own Christmas," he added.

"Four or five years ago, the Coca Cola TV ad used to be the kind of barometer as to when Christmas starts, and it used to get so many hits on YouTube at that time of the year. Over the last few years we’ve caught up with Coca Cola – last year we had double the number of hits on our YouTube TV ad than Coca Cola.

"That’s just a great testament to the anticipation and expectation people now have around what John Lewis are going to do next around their next Christmas campaign."

Read the full interview with Marsh in next month's issue of PCR

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