Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

The first event will be held at the department store at 123 High Street, Cheltenham, on September 26.

The evening will feature design tips, talks and valuations from Moore Allen & Innocent partner Philip Allwood, John Lewis’ home interior experts and a representative from design brand Colefax & Fowler. Allwood hopes it will be the first of a series of events to promote antiques to potential customers.

He said: “There is a lot to promote about the auction business as its one of the greenest industries there is. We will be playing on the recycled element as people are interested in this now.”

JLP Cheltenham.jpg

John Lewis opened in Cheltenham in 2018.

Among the initiatives the firm is working on is subletting office space in the converted barn next to its saleroom on Burford Road, Cirencester. It had expanded into the space four years ago but is now moving back into its former offices to cut costs.

“We are making sure we can be in a position of strength for the coming years. Difficult decisions have to be made. Online sales cost money and time but now we have moved to monthly sales, we need fewer people and space.

“It’s a way of dealing with the current market in a sensible fashion. We are not defeatist. We want to work with associated industries and expand the events we do to reach new customers.”

Last year the firm introduced a number of changes including a £10 charge for condition reports for lots that are estimated at less than £100, and a storage fee for items left longer than three days after auction.

Allwood added: “I don’t charge anyone for storage because now people pick things up when we want them to and don’t leave them here. We have had a handful of customers unhappy with the condition report fees but generally the new way of business is working well. In this current market I still believe we don’t charge enough compared to other businesses such as retailers.”

The John Lewis event at 5-7pm on September 26 is £10 per ticket with £5 going towards charity Winston's Wish.