John Lewis axes ‘Never Knowingly Undersold’ slogan

‘Never Knowingly Undersold’ has been the retailer’s pledge for almost 100 years

British retailer John Lewis is retiring its 96-year-old slogan ‘Never Knowingly Undersold’ as it instead commits £500m of investment in “great value prices” amid the surging cost of living.

The former promise meant the employee-owned John Lewis matched prices on like-for-like branded products with national retailers that sell both online and in shops. However, it is not applicable to online-only retailers.

The department store says the shift comes as a result of changing awareness of how customers shop. John Lewis says the former pledge is no longer enough to ensure customer trust as sales move increasingly online.

‘Never Knowingly Undersold’ is to be replaced by a new investment of £500m into value – 25% higher than the amount it spent on keeping prices affordable last year.

It arrives as many in the UK feel the impact of the rising cost of living, and are budgeting accordingly. British inflation hit its highest rate in nearly 30 years in January, with experts expecting it to peak at around 7.25% in April when a 54% rise in regulated household energy tariffs takes effect.

“Customers are tightening their belts and we’re responding so John Lewis is more affordable for every customer, every day, whether shopping in-store or online,” said John Lewis’s executive director Pippa Wicks.

“‘Never Knowingly Undersold’ has been a cherished sign of trust for John Lewis for a century but it doesn’t fit with how customers shop today as more purchases are made online. Our new £500m investment means all our customers can trust they’re getting the quality, style and service they expect from John Lewis at great value prices.”