Stores growth

John Lewis restores bonus after record sales

John Lewis store in St James
John Lewis: record year (pic: Terry Murden)

John Lewis has restored its bonus to 80,000 staff after the department store achieved record sales and profit before exceptional items rebounded to £181m, up 38% on last year.

Staff will receive a bonus of 3%, equivalent to 1.5 weeks’ pay, the first bonus since 2020 after it was cancelled last year for the first time in 67 years. The partnership will pay the Real Living Wage nationwide this year, and award a 2% pay rise.

The Executive team are donating their bonus to the British Red Cross.

The department store and supermarket group reported a reduced loss before tax of £26m against £491m last time.

Total group sales came in at £12.5bn, up 1%. John Lewis achieved its highest ever sales of £4.93bn, up 8% like-for-like on last year. Waitrose sales hit £7.54bn, up 1% like-for-like on last year.

Exceptional costs were mostly due to restructuring, property lease exit costs and a small write down of John Lewis stores. Costs were cut by £170m, a major factor behind the profit growth.

Commenting on the cost cutting, chairman Dame Sharon White said: “This has involved difficult decisions that have affected Partners deeply: reducing management roles in our shops and reducing our central teams.

“We have also closed eight John Lewis stores and a delivery hub. These were necessary decisions to ensure the Partnership is sustainable in the future.”

The company is investing £119m in its John Lewis shops, digital services and distribution capabilities and £55m to complete a further 23 major refurbishments of Waitrose stores and £72m investment in digital services and distribution.

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