Thursday, 7 March 2019

John Lewis bonus lowest since 1950s as profits plunge

John Lewis has paid out its lowest bonus to staff since the 1950s as profits plunged last year amid "challenging" trading.

The retail partnership - which includes Waitrose supermarkets - said staff would receive a 3% bonus, the lowest since 1953 when workers got no bonus.

Profits at the partnership sank last year by more than 45% to £160m.

It blamed poor home sales, discounting, higher IT costs and the cost of opening two new stores last year for the drop.

John Lewis' famously promises that is "never knowingly undersold", meaning it matches its High Street rivals' prices.

The partnership said "near constant discounting" from rivals had hit profits, particularly in its department store shops.

John Lewis' structure is unique. It is owned by its staff, known as partners.

Typically in profitable years, staff at the 350 Waitrose and 51 John Lewis stores receive a share of the profits. In the very best years, these bonuses can add the equivalent of a few months' worth of pay.

But the annual staff bonus has been reduced every year for the past six years due to difficult trading conditions.

Sir Charlie Mayfield, chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, said the lower bonus would help the company to preserve cash and invest "to cope with the continuing uncertainty facing consumers and the economy".

Source: BBC    News.

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