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“Listen to innovation”: John Lewis has finest corporate retail reputation in EMEA

John Lewis’ Christmas came early in December 2014 when career marketplace Glassdoor found the company was the second-best place in the UK to work, coming in just behind Google and ahead of Microsoft, Accenture and Jaguar Land Rover.

The trend continues as the Reputation Institute’s RepTrak study across 16 countries in EMEA has ranked John Lewis as the retailer with the best corporate reputation. The other companies completing the top five reputable retailers include: Matas (Denmark), Tods (Italy), Dunelm (UK), and Zegna (Italy).

Factors considered to weigh up the reputation were products & services, governance, innovation, citizenship, workplace, performance, and leadership, all of which saw John Lewis ranked in first place while second and third places varied throughout.

With innovation in mind, John Lewis’ IT innovation manager John Vary attended the Austin, Texas interactive, film and music festival SXSW here are five things British startups can learn from the event this month. Commenting on his experience, he said: Its not technology alone that will shape the future of retail, it is human behaviour and our expectations as customers that drive how technology is used. We must relentlessly focus on the customer first and the experience we want to curate. Only then can we identify the technology.

The retail landscape is changing at phenomenal speeds and you cannot stand still. You have to remain agile and listen to the innovation clusters that are inside your business as well as outside. Not all are going to succeed but that is the beauty of innovation, you may fail but as long as you learn and keep moving forward, success wont be far away.

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WH Smith was among companies that experienced the highest levels of improvement between 2013 and 2014, with Portuguese supermarket chain Pingo Doce and H&M.

Comparatively, there’s room for improvement for some British businesses, as Marks & Spencer and Primark experienced the steepest declines alongside Italy’s Giorgio Armani.

Nicolas Georges Trad, executive partner at Reputation Institute, said: I congratulate these retail companies on their excellent reputations. Our studies show that reputation dramatically influences a companys business results, including stock value, revenue, market share and the likelihood of support from key stakeholders.

It will be interesting to see how the industry and this years top retailers fare in our 2015 National RepTrak studies to be published in May 2015.

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