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John Lewis Career

Andrew started his career as a management trainee with the John Lewis Partnership at Brent Cross in North London. He quickly moved up through the management ranks and led a number of selling teams in different branches, culminating in heading a department in the flagship Oxford Street branch.

From there he moved to the head office to take charge of the department stores’ Intelligence Team. They acted as an internal business consultancy, reporting on competitive strategy, product differentiation and value, catchment area demographics for new branches and customer experience.

In 2000 Andrew was asked to lead on customer experience for the department store division.  The role saw him develop JLP’s market-leading culture and attitude towards customer experience and sales with the 20,000 customer-facing Partners in 26 John Lewis shops across the UK.  That customer-driven culture is something that has now become synonymous with the John Lewis brand.  During his tenure John Lewis frequently won awards for customer experience from Which? Verdict and Retail Week and were regularly cited in the media as a leading customer oriented organisation.  He was also responsible for the management and resolution of the group’s customer complaints.

While at John Lewis, Andrew advised many other non-competing organisations on their customer experience strategy and became recognised as an expert in the field.

Interview for Virgin Atlantic conference in 2008
Interview for RBS conference in 2007

Consultancy

Immediately after leaving John Lewis Andrew joined a London based boutique consultancy firm as a Principal Consultant.  During his time with them he honed his consulting skills and specialised in employee engagement, customer experience, and customer centric business process change.  Andrew led projects for Plymouth City Council where he helped them re design the access to, and provision of, Adult Social Care services – a project which subsequently won a national award.  He supported a number of NHS foundation trusts to successfully develop and implement their patient experience strategies.  Andrew also worked with a number of high profile private sector clients.

Revo/British Council of Shopping Centres

Andrew joined the Customer Experience Committee at Revo during his time at John Lewis; he chaired the committee from 2010 to 2017.  The role reaffirmed Andrew’s strong links with the retail community, where he has a particular interest in promoting the viability of the UK’s shopping centres and high streets as valuable social spaces in addition to the commercial benefits they can bring.  Revo run an annual awards programme for excellence in customer experience in shopping centres (ACE Awards) which recognises both the achievements of shopping centres and individual employees.  During Andrew’s chairmanship the committee developed and grew the awards substantially to well over 100 shopping centre entrants which has raised the profile and importance of customer experience in the retail property sector.

Lloyds Bank National Business Awards

Andrew has been a judge and adviser for the prestigious Customer Focus Award since 2015.  This provides a fascinating and inspiring insight into what some of the best UK businesses are doing to differentiate themselves through customer experience.

Current work

Whether it’s a small, family-run firm or a large multinational, Andrew places an emphasis on understanding what makes (or can make) them different.  Often different parts of an organisation believe they have different purposes, but Andrew enables them to cut through their differences in perception and experience.  By uncovering inherent values and a shared enthusiasm he brings about employee engagement and growth.

Andrew also looks at the roles of leadership, communication, trust and even enjoying work in creating success.  In presentations, he explains that great customer experience cannot be taught but reflects a great internal culture.  By developing a personality and values that are realistic, honest, and shared, organisations can deliver a degree of long lasting, competitive differentiation that few achieve, but many aspire to.