The John Lewis Partnership have announced a new Locally Made initiative, which will roll out in their flagship John Lewis stores from 20th October, beginning in Leeds.
The project will feature a special section of the store dedicated to locally designed, supplied or manufactured items from across the country.
The Leeds store is to stock over 120 Yorkshire-made products, including Masons Yorkshire Gin, and the Harrogate Candle Company. All of the suppliers are within a 30 mile radius of Leeds.
The products will also be available on the John Lewis website, broadening their exposure and making them available to consumers across the country.
The initiative is in partnership with The Great British Exchange, a Harrogate-based startup which launched in 2014 and sources artisanal products from new designers, established makers, independent businesses, and British-based factories across the UK. They provide direct support for independent suppliers, and make their products available in national retailers, giving them more access to consumers.
Anna Rigby is the head of buying for Home Accessories and Gifts at John Lewis. She said, “We know that our customers are interested in the provenance of products and as a British retailer, we’re proud to support British design and quality by sourcing locally. Our Made Locally campaign, in partnership with The Great British Exchange, will help us strengthen our existing local supplier base and inevitably champion more British designers and manufacturers.”
Matthew Hopkins, MD at The Great British Exchange, says: “The essence of The Great British Exchange is to provide a stepping stone into retail for British manufacturers and it’s a one-stop-shop for retailers looking for British made products. We work hard to provide a route to market for new British manufacturers and designers. I’m very proud of our partnership with John Lewis, which creates fantastic ongoing opportunities for more locally sourced products to be sold in one of the UK’s most prestigious retailers.”