Sales & Marketing

John Lewis most desirable brand for jobseekers, as Apple's popularity drops

3 min read

27 April 2015

High street and online retailer John Lewis is the most appealing retail brand when it comes to those looking for work, according to a new study by recruitment company The Retail Appointment.

In a survey undertaken by 1,200 current active job seekers, respondents were provided with 50 options including well-known companies such as Apple, Marks & Spencer and Selfridges. They were posed with the question: “Which retailer do you think has the best employment brand?” Some 41 per cent of those answering selected John Lewis as their preferred choice.

Marks & Spencer came in second place, though there was a large drop from John Lewis’ share of the vote – 12 per cent of respondents selected M&S. Arcadia was third with eight per cent, with Ellie Burgess, director at The Retail Appointment, saying that the UK’s largest retailers may be alarmed at the gap between John Lewis and the other brands.

“From an employment point of view, John Lewis is now capturing the imagination of jobseekers throughout both the UK and the world,” Burgess said. 

“John Lewis is widely regarded as the brand which sets the example and tone for the rest to follow. Its business model is perhaps one of the most respected in the world and lauded as a best practice example of employee-employer relations.”

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Burgess pointed to its audience understanding as a particular strength, along with the retailer’s ability to change tact, “when the spending trends of different demographics evolve”.

This follows an announcement that John Lewis employees would be receiving their lowest annual bonus for 12 years, after the partnership cut the annual payout for its 93,800 staff to 11 per cent of salary. 

The business, which celebrated its 150th birthday last year, is owned by its employees who share a bonus each year, based on the performance of the retail chains.

Elsewhere, Apple failed to make the top three, and The Retail Appointment stated that the technology giant has experienced a ten per cent drop in popularity. It also fails to make the top 20 brands in the US. Here, it came in fourth with six per cent of the jobseekers’ votes, followed by Selfridges with five per cent, Harrods on four per cent and House of Fraser, Waitrose and Tesco all on three per cent. Next rounded up the top ten with two per cent of job seekers plumping for it as the most desirable brand.

Brands that failed to stir up a reaction among the respondents included WHSmith, Asda, the Disney Store, HMV and Superdrug – none of which were chosen as the best employment brand by any of those who took the survey.

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