John Lewis has come under fire after an investigation revealed the store was selling products at higher prices than other retailers, going against its “never knowingly undersold” pledge.
The slogan, which has been a mainstay of the department store’s marketing since it opened in 1925, guarantees that it will refund shoppers the difference if they find products sold cheaper elsewhere.
“If we find that (other retailers) are selling the same individual product, sold with the same service conditions, at a lower price, we’ll meet that price in our shops and at johnlewis.com,” a statement on the company’s website reads.
“So we don’t expect you to find a lower price elsewhere. But if you do, you can easily make a price match request.”
According to a new study conducted by MoneySavingExpert.com John Lewis failed drop the prices of over 10 items, even after they had been alerted to their lower price elsewhere.
The consumer website purchased 16 items from various physical John Lewis stores, as well as online, all of which were sold for a lower price elsewhere.
Although the retailer agreed to refund the difference of all of the products, only one of the products prices were subsequently dropped after a week.
MoneySavingExpert.com’s founder Martin Lewis said: “If John Lewis wants to tout its ‘Never Knowingly Undersold’ catchphrase, it should put up or shut up, or it risks losing its great reputation.”
In response to the allegations, a spokesperson from John Lewis told The Independent:
“Never Knowingly Undersold is at the heart of everything we do and we are disappointed that MSE focused on a small number of specific examples rather than the millions of prices that we lower each year.
“We will look at the detail of their report to see where we can make improvements for our customers in either our processes or communications on the website.
“John Lewis is the only department store with a comprehensive price promise.”