'Sustainability is one of our founding principles' - John Lewis & Partners Sheffield wins Sheffield Retail Award
“For over 150 years, we’ve been a big part of our customers lives,” says Martin Singer, operations manager at John Lewis & Partners Sheffield.
"Many of them tell us they remember shopping here with their parents, or grandparents, as children, and now they come in with their own kids.
"We’re a family place – we have brothers and sisters working here, mums and sons, dads and daughters – it’s a wonderful community.
"Of course our strongest relationship is with our customers, and what we’ve seen, since reopening our doors following both lockdowns, is that affection from our customers.
"In a year where they haven’t been able to shop regularly with us, we’ve seem them determined to return, and that means so much.”
This week, John Lewis & Partners Sheffield was named the winner of the ‘Sustainable Retailer’ category of the Sheffield City Centre Retail Awards.
The 2020 awards received a record number of entries and nominations, with people across the city keen to celebrate shops big and small, and the people who have kept them running efficiently this year against all the odds.
The judges’ statement read: ‘The John Lewis partnership is undoubtedly an asset to the Sheffield high street and a footfall driver in normal times.
‘Two retailers, one partnership, and a shared commitment to customers, suppliers, communities and the environment.
‘We love the fact that John Lewis offers pop up opportunities in store to local shop traders.’
“We’re absolutely delighted with the award,” says Martin, who says he has worked at the Sheffield store four different times in his John Lewis career.
“Sustainability is one of our founding principles as a company, it’s part of our ethos that dates back to when we were created many moons ago.
“It was really strange for us, not being able to welcome customers into our shops, so a lot of our John Lewis partners spent lockdown working in Waitrose, helping to feed the nation and supporting our colleagues down the road.
“We have a long history of supporting charities and community groups in the city, and in such a challenging year, we’ve really taken pride in the fact that we were well-positioned to be involved in supporting these organisations doing such amazing things.
"We worked with our community liaison coordinator, Debra Bennet, to use her extensive relationships in the community to see where and how we could provide the most help.
"We delivered care packages to NHS workers, supported the Sheffield Cathedral Archer Project, and teamed up with Age UK’s South Yorkshire network.
"That feeling of being a part of the community always has been, and always will be, very important for us.”
Debra added of the award: “It has been an honour and a privilege to support key workers, elderly, homeless and families in need throughout South Yorkshire.
“Without the support of Ann-Marie Taylor, one our partner drivers who was my right-hand woman through it all, we couldn’t have achieved what we did together.
“We are very proud to continue to support our local communities.”