John Lewis blames ‘pain of inflation’ for large losses and takes bonuses off the table
John Lewis has said it will not offer staff bonuses for the second time since 1953 after the retail group fell to a £78 million loss for the year ending 28 January 2023.
The drop in revenues represents a big slump from a £181 million profit in the previous year, with John Lewis blaming “inflationary pressures”.
Leaders said the business will now increase cost-cutting efforts to complete a turnaround of the group’s financial performance.
Chairwoman Dame Sharon White apologised to staff that they would not receive a bonus payment following a “tough set of results”.
In a letter to staff, White said: “You’ve been exceptional in what has been another very tough year. Two years of pandemic and now a cost-of-living crisis. Inflation has had a big impact on the partnership and sent our costs soaring – up almost £180 million on last year.
However, said that its financial assistance fund will stay at £800k support for travel, childcare and living costs will remain for staff.
Overall, sales for the year fell by 2 per cent to £12.25bn overall and were down 3 per cent at Waitrose.
White described the trading year as “tough” however warned that its balance sheet “remains strong” with the Partnership having access to £1bn of cash and a £420m credit facility.
Earlier this week John Lewis drafted in its first chief executive, appointing retail veteran Nish Kankiwala to work closely with the chairman.