By way of a brief introduction, could you please tell us a little about your role at JLP?
I am the Category Lead for Tabletop for both John Lewis and Waitrose. Within the team there are three buyers and three merchandisers that develop and source all the Tabletop pieces ( ie China, Glass, Cutlery and Linens) for for each brand.
How long have you/JLP worked with Monno, do you recall the first project?
I’ve personally worked with Monno since 2018 but the relationship with JLP goes back many, many years starting with the Bone China ranges designed by Queensbury Hunt. Ranges that we still stock to this day. The first project that I was involved in was the development of new ranges to support a new brand that we were launching within John Lewis called ‘Anyday’.
What do you look for when seeking a company to collaborate with, and how do you find Monno fulfils those expectations?
Whenever we are considering a new partnership, we always want to ensure that the company can comply to our ethical and technical standards. From a product perspective we need to know that the company can support the quality standards that a John Lewis customer expects. As one can imagine, it’s key for us to be working with innovative people that also have good communication and can deliver samples within a timely manner.
We are fortunate to have worked on many successful projects with you. Casting your mind back across all the collections we have developed together, which is your favourite and why?
The Cupola bone china range is a particular favourite of mine. It has stood the test of time over many years and is still a firm favourite with our customers.
What part of developing new tableware concepts for JLP gives you the most satisfaction? (sourcing / pricing / sampling / seeing in store…)
Nothing compares to stepping into one of our shops and seeing a new range on the shelf, knowing all the hard work that has gone into developing it as well as watching customer’s reaction as they shop it. A close second is opening a box of samples in the flesh for the first time and seeing our ideas come to life.
Do you have a preferred season for which to develop new product briefs; is there one you most look forward to seeing in store?
I am a huge fan of Christmas and John Lewis has always lead the way on this. We have managed to reinvent the look every year, I can’t wait for this years collection to arrive in the shops!
What consumer trends have you noticed in tableware at JLP and what do you think the future holds?
The day of having a ‘Best’ tableware with matching serveware has long gone. Gatherings are now much more relaxed and casual. I love the way that customers are mixing and matching how they dress their table there’s now a new opportunity to mix bone china alongside coloured casual glassware and mango salad bowls!