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High Street could learn from example of John Lewis

The Pound Shop is described as "possibly the sole retail success story in these recession-bound times" (Radio, The Herald, December 11).

Let's not forget another success story in the retail sector, albeit at the other end of the spectrum. I refer to the John Lewis organisation which reported record sales last week ("Record John Lewis sales", The Herald, December 10).

Led by a strong management team, the employee-owned group has demonstrated that with well-trained, enthusiastic and well-motivated staff operating in attractive stores and with competitively priced goods, success can also be achieved.

If the principle of employee-owned organisations were to be extended, perhaps we would see fewer casualties in the field of retailing, and elsewhere. It might also even out wealth distribution in what remains an ill-divided society and reduce the levels of tax avoidance which makes a mockery of that tired expression of us all "being in this together".

I should add that, other than being satisfied users of John Lewis, neither I nor any member of my family has any connection with the organisation – more's the pity.

Malcolm Allan,

2 Tofthill Gardens,


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