John Lewis boss Andy Street has apologised for comments made in Paris when he dubbed it "hopeless and downbeat" and advised investors "to get them out quickly".
Street also dubbed its Paris’ Gare du Nord station as a squalor pit and said about France that "nothing works and worse, nobody cares about it". His apology, saying he went too far, will help to heal the wounds but what else could he do to make it up to the French?
Introduce the partnership model in France
As French unions battle to retain the 35-hour week, Street could well charm the nation’s hearts by spreading the word of the cuddly 150-year-old John Lewis Partnership. Its shared annual bonus – complete with an in-store celebration in Oxford Street when the magic percentage is unveiled – would doubtless go some way to appeasing his comments if widely adopted by French businesses.
Run for president
The challenge to Francois Hollande’s unpopular regime was so lifeless Nicolas Sarkozy has had to propel himself back into the political limelight. Perhaps Street’s mix of (usually) charming humour, and ability to monitor the nation’s mood through weekly sales updates on the number of lamps sold, could make him an unlikely man of the people.
Carpe diem with new products?
Could Andy Street seize the day and tackle the issue tonight? Perhaps an overnight sprinkling of French flavour into his department stores could shift a few chaise longue, stripey tops and, yes, berets before you can say “Je suis désolé”.
Snails in the café
What better way to embrace French culture than adopting its national dish – escargot – a long with of plenty of garlic in its cafes? Sister retailer Waitrose could easily pack up a few frogs legs to snack on at the till for good measure.
Open shop in Paris
The arrival of John Lewis’ stores are always hotly anticipated and championed by local councils across the nation.
New shops planned in Leeds and west London have been lauded for the boost they will give the areas, could Street give the French some joie de vivre and inject life into the country’s growth prospects? What’s more, John Lewis and Waitrose shops often boost house prices so could Andy bring life to Paris’ Streets?Reuse content