John Lewis boss Andy Street: You can't pull the wool over the eyes of your customers

MT'S REPUTATION WEEK IN ASSOCIATION WITH BSI: Andy Street, the MD of John Lewis, says if you are delivering a service which isn't up to scratch, act quickly to improve it.

Last Updated: 23 Aug 2013


Since the start of the financial crisis in 2007, the level of trust in business has gradually deteriorated.  The financial services have borne the brunt of the criticism – but all industries have been affected.

Is it possible for businesses to be truly virtuous and efficient nowadays? And how can businesses win back customers which have become disenchanted with a business’s morals and ethics?

Andy Street, the managing director of High Street stalwart John Lewis, says the point is that people judge businesses by their single touchpoint: ‘I don’t mean to be immodest but John Lewis is among the most trusted companies,’ he said during a roundtable discussion on rebuilding trust, which was hosted by MT and BSI.

‘And the reason for that is down to the core of the business rather than the add-ons. Each touch point – whether it be related to a consumer, an employee or a supplier – affects your judgement. And that’s why it takes years to build up,' he added.

Andy Street also defended John Lewis’s practices in comparison to other rivals such as the likes of Tesco and Sainsbury’s. ‘I’m a great believer that you can’t pull the wool over the eyes of consumers and suppliers. If you ask any of our suppliers they’ll tell you they like doing business with us.’

This video is the first part of a Reputation Week special

Find out more about MT’s Reputation Week in association with BSI.

Read the full discussion with panellists including Andy Street, MD of John Lewis, Giles Andrews, founder and CEO of Zopa, and Baroness Kingsmill.

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