John Lewis Swings Back to Profitability But No Partnership Bonus

John Lewis, a British brand of high-end department stores, has made significant progress with a £56m in pre-tax profit in the year to January 27. This is attributed to sales growth, improved gross margin, and increased productivity. Sales rose 1 percent to £12.4 billion and 22.6 million customers, more than a million in the prior-year period.

However, the retailer will not be reinstating its Partnership Bonus. But CEO James Bailey said loyalty plans are underway. “We are expecting some material changes behind the scenes through the coming year and some quite significant improvements for our customers as we join the two schemes together and we get that double benefit of John Lewis and Waitrose working together.” Bailey highlighted that there’s a lot of improvement in 2024 and 2025.

Peter Ruis, John Lewis‘s executive director, said they are trying to get the company’s mojo back. “The confidence, the inspiration, and the innovation of the John Lewis department store chain. There are lots of options to do that. Retailers are eternally dissatisfied people and all of us can see many ways of improving that opportunity. So going back into growth in terms of sales and inspiring all of our customers.”

John Lewis Swings Back to Profitability But No Partnership Bonus

Ruis explained their refreshed focus means continued investment in stores, including doubling the size of John Lewis’ beauty hall in its Oxford Street flagship this autumn. He said attention will be paid to delivering value by offering a ‘really good opening price’. “ANYDAY is part of that and continues to be important to us and you’ll see a significant amount of our proposition with a strong opening price position. Then we continue to match price against our key competitors in the branded areas, so value is still at the center of our gravity.”

In regards to Waitrose, Bailey said it will continue to invest in price. He pointed out that Waitrose is seeing customers shun exclusivity based on price. “People are careful, buying on promotion. They’re using the My Waitrose voucher scheme and the £100m we’ve invested in price is still driving lots of new customers, but we are starting to see the shift into those more considered purchases, higher quality items, and the kind of higher quality, better-sourced products that Waitrose stands for.”

Nish Kankiwala, John Lewis Partnership CEO, said it’s a family business. “The current focus is about leveraging the high potential of our existing brands – both Waitrose and John Lewis. For the longer term, we do see the benefits of buy to rent (BTR) and financial services, but they’re in different time horizons.”

He added that BTR is something that the company can leverage in the long run to build their balance sheet and financial services is supporting their retail businesses today.

Also Read: Nutella Celebrates 60th Anniversary, Committed to Spreading Smiles Across the World

author avatar
Nandika Chand