Saturday, October 14, 2006

A workers’ co-operative for the British upper middle classes

It’s a curious anomaly; John Lewis is a chain of shops that caters mainly for the British middle classes and yet it’s run as a workers’ co-operative. Actually they’re not called workers but partners. The first clue I got about the firm’s unexpected status was the door marked "partners’ entrance" on their store in London's Oxford Street. I thought it odd to have a door just for the board members who probably rarely visited the shop but all became clear when I noticed ‘ordinary’ staff using it and I asked one of them about it.

I caught the end of Katherine Whitehorn, who sounds very posh but who used to review films for the Observer so might be a bit of a leftie, describing the joys of John Lewis on Fi Glover’s Saturday Live. It turns out not to be quite as dull a programme as I first thought.


At 18:11, Anonymous Anonymous said...

John Lewis caters for the middle class? Are you defining middle class as anyone who isn't a chav?

At 18:29, Blogger Hughes Views said...



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