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Business

Published on July 15th, 2021 | by The GC Team

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John Lewis cuts another 1,000 jobs

The John Lewis Partnership is to cut 1,000 jobs in a store management streamlining exercise as part of a plan to reduce costs by £300 million by 2022.  

The news came in a flurry of press activity after first being reported in Retail Week, although there has been no official statement from any named individual within the company.

The eponymous retailer has, however, shed thousands of jobs in the past year and is currently implementing a five-year Partnership Plan, the first priority being to reduce costs and reinvest the proceeds in improved customer service at its John Lewis and Waitrose stores.

The business recorded a loss before tax of £517m for the year ended 30 January 2021, compared to a pre-tax profit of £146m in the previous year.

The loss was the result of exceptional costs of £648m, chiefly due to the write down in the value of John Lewis shops owing to the pronounced shift to online, as well as restructuring and redundancy costs from store closures – the retailer was hit particularly hard by the pandemic but a number of stores marked for closure, including its flagship regional store in Birmingham, had already been underperforming.

Lately we’ve seen the business enter into a number of outsourcing partnerships to streamline its backend operations, and diversify into other areas outside of retail as the sector has undergone diminishing margins.

In March this year, Chairman Sharon White said: “With retail margins declining and the Partnership wishing to return more benefit to Partners, customers and communities, we are aiming that by 2030, 40% of our profits will come from areas outside retail, namely financial services, housing and outdoor living.”

Earlier this month the retailer announced plans to move into the residential property market by building 10,000 homes for rental on land it owns in the UK.  

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