John Lewis Partnership says turnaround to take extra two years after £59m loss
The John Lewis Partnership added that investment into its strategy and customers was going to ‘take precedence’ over its annual bonus for staff.
The John Lewis Partnership (JLP) has said the five-year transformation plan launched by the retail group in 2020 will take two years longer than planned as it posted another half-year loss.
Nevertheless, the group, which runs the department store chain and Waitrose supermarket arm, saw pre-tax losses narrow by 41% to £59 million for the six months to July 29.
JLP said the “Partnership Plan” it launched in 2020, with the target of a £400 million profit by 2025/26, was now going to take until 2027/28 due to “inflationary pressures”.
It added that investment into its strategy and customers was going to “take precedence” over its annual bonus for staff members.
Dame Sharon White, chairwoman of the group, told the PA news agency that workers will need to take the “mindset of owners” as the group continues efforts to improve its finances.
“Our partners are the centre of the partnership and can hopefully see that right decisions are being made,” she said.
“They have to take the mindset of owners here. If the roof of your house needs mending, everyone there would work together to get it fixed.
“We are doing all we can and we will see what position we are in come March.”
At the start of this year, the employee-owned group said it would not hand staff a bonus for only the second time since 1953 after falling to a hefty annual loss in the previous financial year.
Dame Sharon stressed that the company’s performance over the year “picks up” more strongly over the second half after being asked whether the latest results pointed towards another annual loss.
On Thursday, the group also recorded a 2% increase in sales across the partnership to £5.8 billion as it hailed higher sales on beauty and fashion but reduced demand for “technology and big ticket home items”.