John Lewis will allocate more than 33,000 working hours each year to enable its employees to spend more time volunteering.
Each of the retailer’s stores has a community liaison coordinator who works with local community groups and charities to identify a range of ways in which staff can support them, including product donations, financial support and volunteering time.
One project recently undertaken by employees is the time John Lewis’ Peter Jones to StartUp Britain to help launch PopUp King’s Road in London.
The shop’s visual merchandisers supported all aspects of the design, shop fit and merchandising of the new outlet, which is designed to fill empty shop space on the high street and house new start-up brands.
Many John Lewis stores also celebrated Craft and Design month in May with haberdashery departments leading workshops for charities, schools and community groups.
Christine Kasoulis, director, brand development at John Lewis, said: “We take our role as an active member of the community seriously and our community strategy is focused on enhancing skills to create lasting change.
“By working alongside charities and community groups we seek to understand how we can best support them.
“Volunteering is a key way in which many of our branches already assist and benefit the local community. By pledging to increase our volunteering commitment and enabling employees to be released from their day jobs for increased amounts of time, we seek to extend our support even further.”