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John Lewis Partnership swings to £517 million loss

The John Lewis Partnership has recorded a pre-tax loss of £517 million for the year to 30 January after it incurred  exceptional costs of £648 million…. View Article

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

John Lewis Partnership swings to £517 million loss

The John Lewis Partnership has recorded a pre-tax loss of £517 million for the year to 30 January after it incurred  exceptional costs of £648 million.

The loss compares to a profit of £146 million in the previous 12-month period.

The partnership said the costs were mainly the result of a write down in the value of John Lewis shops due to more customers shopping online, as well as restructuring and redundancy costs from Covid-19 related store closures and changes to the partnership’s head office. It revealed that prior to the pandemic, £6 in every £10 spent online with John Lewis was driven by its shops but this ratio has now fallen to £3 in every £10.

While pre-tax profit before exceptionals came in at £131 million, which was £61 million up on the previous year, the partnership would have made a loss before exceptionals without business rate relief and furlough support.

The partnership, which also runs the Waitrose supermarket chain, said trading operating profit was “significantly challenged” as an improvement seen in Waitrose was not enough to cover a substantial decline at John Lewis due to the temporary closure of its department stores. It also said it does not expect to reopen all of its John Lewis shops at the end of the current lockdown, but did not specify which stores will remain closed.

John Lewis Partnership chairman Sharon White said: “All our John Lewis stores need to be exciting places to shop, more reflective of the tastes and interests of local customers. This will require investment and we are working closely with landlords and local authorities. We are keen to play our part in the revitalisation of the high street.”

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