John Lewis MD: France is "sclerotic, hopeless and downbeat"

John Lewis is set to spend the day shrugging off a number of headline-grabbing comments about France by its MD Andy Street as "tongue in cheek".

Street’s words, which include advice to businessmen with investments in the country to "get them out quickly", came as John Lewis prepares the launch of a French-language version of its e-commerce website.

He was speaking earlier this week in London to an audience of entrepreneurs at a competition for start-ups run by John Lewis, having just visited Paris for the World Retail Congress.

He said: "I have never been to a country more ill at ease… nothing works and worse, nobody cares about it.

"You get on Eurostar from something I can only describe as the squalor pit of Europe, Gare du Nord, and you get off at a modern, forward-looking station [St Pancras]."

John Lewis told PRWeek it did not have a transcript of Street's comments.

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