John Lewis to become more affordable in big online push

Dame Sharon White, chairman of the mutual, said: “We’ve seen five years of change in

Dame Sharon White, chairman of the mutual, said: “We’ve seen five years of change in the past five months … our plan means the partnership will thrive for the next century, as it has the last.” 

John Lewis declined to say if there will be more job losses or store closures as it plans to save £300m a year by 2022 by simplifying the business and reviewing agreements with suppliers. 

Dame Sharon, who has hired a clutch of senior executives to deliver the plan since she joined, said: “Part of the plan is we want to become a much more efficient and leaner business, and that is going to take a number of forms. But we’re not talking today about job cuts.”

The directors said that as it expands beyond retail there will be scope to hire more staff. 

“Making these savings is crucial to free up money to invest and to deliver our plan,” the company said. 

John Lewis aims to pay a bonus again when profits exceed £150m. It scrapped the staff bonus after posting a first-half loss of £635m last month, but the second half that includes the Christmas rush is usually the most profitable.

Total net debt was £2.3bn. 

The partnership will invest £1bn in online and to improve shops over the next five years.

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