Business & Marketing

John Lewis considers closing more stores in cost cutting bid

The chain shut eight shops last July, putting 1,300 jobs at risk, as overall trading was hit by the shift of sales online during the pandemic.

Staff were also told they would not be paid a bonus for the first time since 1953 after profits fell by 46 per cent in the first half of year.

Dame Sharon White, chair of owner The John Lewis Partnership, is now considering further cutbacks, according to The Sunday Times.

John Lewis declined to comment but is understood to be considering closing up to eight stores, bringing the total down from 42 to 34.

The announcement could be made at the same time as the company’s annual results are unveiled next month.

Under the partnership’s five year plan to return to “sustainable profits”, it is also cutting up to 1,500 jobs in its head office by April 2021.

John Lewis expects more than 60 per cent of its sales to be made online by 2025.

Dame Sharon said: “The pandemic has brought forward changes in consumer shopping habits which might have taken five years into five months.

“Both brands entered the crisis with strong and established online businesses, and in the case of Waitrose plans for expansion well under way in preparation for the end of the relationship with Ocado.”


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