John Lewis cuts staff bonuses as profits slide

John Lewis
A John Lewis location in Scotland.

John Lewis has cut staff bonuses as profits fall amid a “challenging” trading environment.

The John Lewis Partnership, which includes the Waitrose supermarkets, said its employees would receive a 3% bonus this year.

Its 83,900 workers, which as partners own part of the firm, are set to receive their lowest bonus in 66 years.

This was as a result of underlying profits falling 45.4% to £160 million in the year to the end of January.

Profits at John Lewis fell 56% to £114.7 million as a result of waker sales in hot furnishings, new store openings and higher IT costs. Meanwhile, profit margins at Waitrose improved, up 18% to £203.2 million.

Nevertheless, the firm also announced plans to close an additional five Waitrose shops, after closing five stores last year, as it looks to streamline its business even further.

The stores set to close include its Barry store in South Wales, alongside locations in Ashbourne, Derbyshire, Blaby, Leicestershire, and Torquay and Teignmouth.

Sir Charlie Mayfield, the chairman of the group, commented: “The market context continues to be challenging. That’s evident in our results, especially in John Lewis & Partners, where we saw near-constant discounting across many categories from October onwards in response to the combination of subdued demand, excess retail space and some other retailers’ distress.”