A cutlery campaigner is meeting the new head of John Lewis in Sheffield after expressing his “utmost surprise” at the lack of Sheffield-made tableware in the shop.
Jeremy Biggin of Upperthorpe, wrote to chairman Sir Charlie Mayfield following his “astonished disappointment” at the lack of local tableware.
He wrote: ‘As a 50 years-plus customer of John Lewis in Sheffield, aka Cole Brothers, my wife and I called to buy a wedding present. Cutlery being our first thought.
“To our utmost surprise, there was no Sheffield cutlery for sale. We were told that group purchasing dictates sourcing.
‘We discovered that each week there are requests from customers for Sheffield cutlery, in some cases from Chinese visitors.
‘Sheffield products have always oozed quality: cutlery, hand tools, razor blades, pocket knives and stainless steel to name a few. Priced maybe at a premium, but worth it to many.
‘As a profitable possibility may I suggest a serious look into cutlery ‘Made in Sheffield’ and maybe create an area for Sheffield products.’
A John Lewis spokeswoman initially told The Star that cutlery made in Sheffield was ‘available online’.
But then the new head of branch, Patrick Duffy, contacted Mr Biggin – and the pair are set to meet.
He wrote: ‘‘I know many of our customers share your feelings towards the heritage of our shop, and this in turn creates great pride for our partners. ...‘I was really heartened by hearing your suggestions for locally-sourced improvements that we could make. This really echoes some early thoughts that I have had since joining Sheffield and am keen to explore further.
‘If you’re able to do so, it would be a pleasure to meet you on one of your next planned shopping visits to the shop for me to personally say thank you for your fabulous suggestions. I would love to hear more of your thoughts and what the shop means to you and your family, perhaps we could discuss further over some refreshments’.