JOHN Lewis is beginning to wonder if its prices may be much, much higher than its rivals after years of wilful ignorance.
The department store is in crisis as customers appear to be buying the same products elsewhere for less money, leaving bosses baffled.
A spokesman said: “We’re the cheapest. Right? You’d tell us if we weren’t, wouldn’t you?
“Because I know this is hard to believe, but it seems that some people think of us not as a bargain-basement outlet but as ‘one of those expensive shops’.
“For years we’ve never knowingly been undersold, but it turns out that was largely because we’ve religiously avoided finding out what they charge for toasters at Argos.
“In retrospect perhaps it was a mistake to, whenever anyone discussed pricing at other shops, put our hands over our ears and sing ‘lalala’ as loud as we could.”
Loyal customer Susan Traherne said: “£30 may seem like a lot for a pair of salad tongs, but they’re lovingly gift-wrapped by a woman called Mel who asks me gently about my holiday plans.
“I’d buy everything from John Lewis if it didn’t mean remortgaging my house.”