AT our July meeting the speaker was David Sheehan, whose topic was “Partnership in the past”, the story of the John Lewis Partnership.
The founder, John Lewis, was born in 1836 and was involved until his death in 1928.
After school, he was an apprentice in a Liverpool store before moving to Peter Robinson’s on Oxford Circus in London. By the time he was in his early twenties, Lewis was the silk buyer.
He was soon invited to become a partner but he declined and opened his own shop in Oxford Street on the site of the present day John Lewis store.
By 1885 the site frontage was four shops wide, eventually taking over the whole island.
History relates that he bought out Peter Jones with 20 £1,000 notes. John Lewis had two sons, Oswald and Spedan, and both were given a quarter share in the business.
Spedan was later to give up his share to take over the running of Peter Jones.
The Partnership Settlement of 1929 meant the company was now owned by the employees, who were called partners.
In 1904 Messrs Waite, Rose and Taylor started a business which was renamed Waitrose in 1910.
This company was bought by the Partnership in 1937.
Altogether a very interesting story.
By way of a change this year, our summer social event was a fine afternoon tea at Phyllis Court Club, which was thoroughly enjoyed by all.
The weather was fine and we enjoyed the splendid views along the river.
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