“Hopefully looking past the challenging times now, and into a brighter future,” Sarah Moughtin, partner and junior buyer of John Lewis & Partners and Waitrose has revealed that not only will there be a brand new selection of greeting cards going on sale in Waitrose stores in a few months’ time, but that Woodmansterne is to become the new brokerage partner for the grocer, when the contract expires with Hallmark on 31 August.
This announcement comes less than a month after it was announced that Sarah’s card buying remit has extended to include both John Lewis & Partners and Waitrose as part of the group’s Future Partnership plan which saw the formation of a single sourcing team for all general merchandise products.
This new development means that Woodmansterne will be working with Sarah and her team to create, supply and fulfil the card displays in both the John Lewis & Partners stores (under the existing agreement) as well as a different selection of publishers designs into Waitrose stores.
As Sarah commented: “Woodmansterne and The John Lewis Partnership have worked hard together to achieve some fantastic results over the years and I hope that we can evolve this further with addition of Waitrose.”
Sharing Woodmansterne’s delight in further growing the relationship with the John Lewis and Waitrose partnership through the new brokerage agreement for Waitrose, Seth Woodmansterne, deputy managing director of the publishing and brokerage company said how they were looking forward to September when they would deliver, “with many participating publishers, a comprehensive range of homegrown British greeting cards reflecting the taste and values of the Waitrose consumer.”
However, he stresses that “As for everyone, our focus at the moment is the continuing safety and future of the jobs of all our staff, customers and suppliers during the challenges and uncertainty presented by Covid-19. Throughout these times, it will be how we (as publishers, businesses, and society) serve and support each other and our relationships that will get us all through.”
While, as Sarah pointed out that now “really is a time for sending notes to family and friends as there is nothing like a bit of post to put a smile on your face,” she also says that right now, while Waitrose are open and cards are still on display, in the name of safety (for her colleagues and customers), “the focus is on key essential grocery items.”
She does reveal however that while the card sales on the John Lewis website “is seeing an upswing” the focus here is “to make sure we have the items that customers need to help them with the practicalities of working from home, self-isolation and social distancing and to make them as comfortable as possible.”
She shares that “not unexpectedly given the circumstances, Mother’s Day trade was disappointing. Online saw a spike in sales as people were unable to get to shops, but I think many families chose to Facetime and talk on the phone.”
Top: Waitrose is to welcome new card selections from September 1 with Woodmansterne as its new broker.