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John Lewis restores staff bonus as record sales boost results

Tom Shearsmith
10 March 2022

Staff at John Lewis will share a £46 million bonus pot after the retail giant saw underlying annual profits rebound by 38%.

The group, which also owns upmarket supermarket chain Waitrose, said it will pay a bonus of 3% to its employees, or one-and-a-half weeks’ pay, and increase wages by 2% on top of its pledge to pay the real living wage.

The restoration of the bonus came as the group reported underlying pre-tax profits rising to £181 million in the year to January 29 thanks to a record £4.9 billion sales haul at the department stores, up 8% on a like-for-like basis.

But it remained in the red on a bottom-line basis, though losses narrowed sharply to £26 million from £517 million the previous year, when it posted its first ever annual loss after the pandemic battered John Lewis outlets.

Chairwoman Dame Sharon White hailed a “good start” to the group’s five-year overhaul, but warned of a troubled wider outlook.

She said: “We see continued uncertainty from global events affecting the economic environment, our customers, partners and society. As inflation and energy prices rise, our customers face higher living costs. While this creates uncertainties as we look ahead, we remain focused on investing significantly in our Partnership Plan to transform and grow our business.”

In July, the employee-owned business revealed plans to cut 1,000 jobs, having already said it would axe around 1,465 roles as part of last year’s store closures.

The group recently killed off its “Never Knowingly Undersold” promise to customers before its centenary after the retailer said that the rise of online retailers such as Amazon had pulled the rug from underneath the pledge.

It has also said it will remove any products made in Russia from Waitrose and John Lewis in response to the conflict.

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