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Nina Bhatia: the woman taking John Lewis from homewares to housing

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theguardian.com

Nina Bhatia’s first memories of John Lewis are of the calm of the haberdashery department, trailing after her mother as she bought dressmaking supplies in the 1980s.Her first weeks as an employee of the department store group, which also owns the Waitrose supermarkets, could not have been more different.

She arrived as strategy director just a month before the Covid pandemic kicked off in the UK, forcing the temporary closure of all non-food stores for months on end under government restrictions.As the head office team switched to working from home during the early days of the pandemic, Bhatia said her first months were “an extraordinary experience, starting a new job with a new team who I had barely met”.She is one of five women on the seven-strong board, including the chair, Sharon White.

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