Retail recovery

John Lewis profits hike lifts hope for bonus return

Turnaround: Dame Sharon White (pic: Terry Murden)

Dame Sharon White’s attempts to turn around the John Lewis Partnership may be bearing fruit, according to a leaked internal memo.

The business is said to have broken through the £100 million annual profit target after sales were lifted by bumper Christmas sales at its Waitrose supermarkets and a major cost-cutting drive. 

The memo, seen by the Mail on Sunday, has heightened prospects for a return of the annual bonus to its 80,000 employees for the first time since 2020. The firm cancelled its staff bonus last year for the first time in 67 years. 

In the memo, executive director for finance Berangere Michel described the payout as a “possibility”, adding that the company’s financial performance over Christmas had been a “superb achievement”.

Dame Sharon, who joined the business in 2019, has controversially closed stores – including one in Aberdeen – and diversified the business into other markets, such as housebuilding and financial services. The partnership will reveal annual figures on 10 March.

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