The John Lewis Partnership has

launched

a direct services company called

Greenbee

, which will market a range of financial, travel and leisure products online and by phone.

The new firm will initially offer insurance (travel, home, wedding and events), as well as travel and ticketing services, but plans to expand its range into life assurance and bespoke travel services next year with home services to follow.

Its partners include Axa, Expedia and See Tickets, while Friends Provident PLC and Cox & Kings are expected to join up in the future.

Greenbee MD James Furse said: “We are complementing our physical and online retailing strengths by offering a range of financial, travel and ticket services that are highly suited to online retailing. We have a new and distinct brand, a talented team and a very clear understanding of what our customers want.

John Lewis has been one of the success stories in multichannel retail. The johnlewis.co.uk website is the company’s second largest ‘store’ after its flagship outlet on Oxford Street.