John Lewis

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John Lewis


John_Lewis_ContentImage.jpgJohn Lewis is the UK’s largest department store


John Lewis sells a wide range of products, spanning electrical, gifts and toys through to garments, beauty and home and garden.

Stock comes in various shapes and sizes, which presents several storage challenges.

John Lewis required a special VNA (very narrow aisle) handling solution to help maximise storage space.


The materials handling fleet includes:

  • Hyster C1.5 VNA machine with a walk on platform and lattice gates
  • Hyster P2.0 powered pallet trucks
  • Hyster Matrix reach truck fitted with a carpet boom


  • John_Lewis_ContentImage-2.jpgHelped maximise storage space, and provided John Lewis staff with the flexibility to work with walk on racking at heights of over 10 metres. The Hyster distribution partner was the only company able to offer a VNA handling solution, which helps staff with large items that require manual handling, such as mattresses, washing machines and sofasProvided a picking solution which consists of a specialised order picking VNA with a long cage on the front, replacing the previously used aisle cranes
  • John Lewis maximised storage space in the new Avonmouth warehouse cube and spent only a quarter of what they would otherwise have invested on cranes.
  • Deflection is minimised, allowing a full load to be transported forward or backwards while simultaneously lifting or lowering, thanks to Hyster’s patented, 1.2 m wide, 1.1m deep quad-form mast, which is strong enough to handle a 3 metre long metal cage and a load of 800kg in any location on the platform
  • Efficiency is enhanced, even during peaks of increased seasonal demand, thanks, in part, to the VNA cage, which feels incredibly stable at 10m, and provides an enclosed environment in which to pick and put away stock quickly
  • The C1.5L incorporates powerful AC motors, proportional speed control and automatic braking at the end of each aisle. Before the driver can operate the truck from the comfortable seat with joystick controls, the metal lattice gates must be closed. As an additional safety feature, once positioned in the correct bay, the operator must press a button that triggers flaps on both sides of the cage to bridge the short gap between the platform and the racking.
  • Handling carpets of up to 7.5m in length has been made easier thanks to the carpet boom attachment fitted to the Hyster Matrix Reach truck. Hyster pallet trucks are also in operation.
  • Excellent service support is provided by Hyster’s local distribution partner, with local service engineers
  • Operator training is conducted on site by Hyster’s distribution partner and John Lewis’ own in-house instructors


  1. Provided unique VNA (very narrow aisle) handling solution to meet specific operational requirements.
  2. Provided a range of warehousing equipment
  3. The local distribution partner provided a full-service maintenance contract, including operator training