Mr Peter Jones moved from Wales and set up his business in the Kings Road in 1877. The business grew until he died in 1905 when it passed to his two sons. However, trade faltered and around Christmas that year John Lewis took 20 £1000 notes, walked from Oxford Street to Peter Jones and bought the business from the two men. Trade continued to decline and when Spedan Lewis took over running the shop in 1914 – the bank declined to take the account.
It was here, away from the controlling intervention of his father, that Spedan was able to begin introducing his ideas of profit sharing. He initially improved staff accommodation, posted up the sales figures so staff could see how the business was doing, introduced a new management structure, staff council, and, by 1920 was able, without his father’s knowledge, to offer the first profit sharing scheme which was to lead to the creation of the Partnership after his father’s death nine years later.
Peter Jones was redeveloped in the 1930s and the new shop, designed by William Crabtree, was voted one of the best new buildings in London.