John Lewis One Fifty for All!

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I have just come back from the John Lewis celebration for Partners of our 150th birthday at the LG Arena at the NEC in Birmingham.

It was entertaining, we were lucky to have 3 great stars performing their songs from our ads – Fyfe Dangerfield, Gaz Coombes and Paloma Faith – on the day she went to No 1, all hosted by Davina McCall.

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However the real stars were the Partners from the branches across the country, HQ and representing every part of John Lewis who paraded into the arena.  There must have been 7,000 at least in the Arena, and more on live links to Wembley and Edinburgh, with thousands more in branch parties around the country and streaming at home.  The singing and dancing was great, and the atmosphere was fantastic as you would hope for a 150th birthday party, but it was more than that.

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It was emotional, two retired Partners received a standing ovation and five Partners reflected on what working in the Partnership meant to them.

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It was inspiring, Andy Street’s speech at the end talked about what so many Partners feel: which is that our aim is to hand over the Partnership to the next generation in better shape than we inherited it.

Everyone left on a fantastic high – it was a fun, emotional, inspiring and unique  – like the Partnership.  So here’s to the next 150 years…

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About paulcoby
I am CIO at the John Lewis Partnership in the UK. I was Chair of SITA - the airline solutions company owned by the Air Transport Community - for 11 years. I am also on the Boards of Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank and Pets at Home. Previously I was Head of BA Services and for 10 years CIO at British Airways. I am interested in Roman and Military History. The views expressed are entirely my own not my employers.

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