John Lewis to stop publishing weekly figures

John Lewis & Parners
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John Lewis Partnership will no longer publish weekly sales figures, according to the Daily Telegraph.

The employee-owned firm, which operates Waitrose and the department store chain, will provide its next update in September and will no longer break down the revenues and profits of each brand.

The partnership has been combining the executive teams behind John Lewis and Waitrose into one team.

It recently reported a fall in sales over the Christmas period and raised doubts over whether it will pay a staff bonus.

John Lewis staff bonus in doubt for second year

John Lewis
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Retail group John Lewis Partnership has warned its staff bonus may be in doubt for a second year in a row as it reported a fall in festive sales at its department store chain.

It warned that annual profits might not be enough for it to pay out any bonus.

The board will meet in February to decide if it is "prudent" to pay the staff bonus, it said.

John Lewis owns department store John Lewis & Partners and supermarket group Waitrose.

It is a partnership that is owned by its staff and the bonus has been paid since 1953.

In January 2019, the group warned the bonus might not be paid that year.

Two months later, it cut the bonus to the lowest since the 1950s after a plunge in profits.

'Barely any signs of growth' for John Lewis

John Lewis Christmas 2019 advert
John Lewis
Even Edgar the dragon couldn't fire up John Lewis's Christmas sales

It appears that John Lewis's issues are more at the department store chain as opposed to Waitrose.

It said it expects annual profits at Waitrose "to be broadly in line with last year".

While the firm expects John Lewis to reverse losses incurred in the first half of the year, it said "profits will be substantially down on last year".

"We therefore expect that partnership profit before exceptionals will be significantly lower than last year."

For the seven weeks to 4 January, the partnership said gross sales fell 1.8% to £2.1bn and pointed to a bumpy period which included the Black Friday promotional event.

"We saw significant variation in levels of demand with Black Friday sales up 10.0% on the equivalent period last year, followed by more subdued demand in the subsequent weeks," it said.

Meanwhile, online sales for John Lewis rose just 1.4%.

Retail Economics chief executive Richard Lim, says: "Excitable Edgar did little to fire up Christmas sales with declines across non-food and a woeful performance in the online business which barely showed any signs of growth."

BreakingJohn Lewis issues profit warning, managing director to leave

John Lewsi
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John Lewis Partnership, owner of the eponymous department store chain and supermarket Waitrose, has warned on annual profits.

The retail partnership said full-year profits will be "substantially down" after it revealed like for like sales at John Lewis fell by 2% over the seven weeks to 4 January.

At Waitrose, like for like sales rose by 0.4%.

The firm also announced that John Lewis & Partners managing director Paula Nickolds will leave in February after being appointed to the role in 2017.

She will exit as the partnership implements a transformation programme next month which will merge the managements of its High Street department stores and Waitrose grocery chain into a single team.

Dame Sharon White, the former boss of telecoms operator Ofcom, is joining as chair of John Lewis Partnership, and will formally take on the role in February.

Commenting on Ms Nickolds, John Lewis Partnership, said: "After some reflection on the responsibilities of her proposed new role, we have decided together that the implementation of the Future Partnership structure in February is the right time for her to move on and she will leave the partnership with our gratitude and best wishes for the future."

Waitrose soup warning

Waitrose soup warning

Finally, here's a quick warning for those of you with food intolerances - Waitrose has recalled its Carrot & Coriander Soup because of a health risk.

The nourishing liquid food contains gluten and celery which are not listed on the label.

This means the product is a possible health risk for anyone with an allergy or intolerance to barley (gluten) and/or an allergy to celery.