Once they got 20%, now John Lewis staff face losing bonus

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  • Retail
  • London
Staff celebrate their bonus at the Oxford Street branch in London in 2008. Now executives are asking whether it is prudent to make the payments Staff celebrate their bonus at the Oxford Street branch in London in 2008. Now executives are asking whether it is prudent to make the paymentsAnthony Upton/Rex Features

The partnership behind John Lewis and Waitrose has warned that it might have to ditch its staff bonus for the first time since 1953 amid “unusual” levels of volatility in the retail market.

Despite a steady Christmas trading period, where gross sales were up 1.4 per cent to £2.2 billion over the seven weeks to January 5, John Lewis Partnership said it continued to expect full-year total profits to be “substantially lower” this year.

It said the declines were driven by slower sales growth over the year, margin pressure and higher costs, mostly investment in its IT systems. The partnership said it had the financial strength and flexibility to pay a “modest bonus” this year “without impacting our ambitious investment programme”, but added: “The board…

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  • Retail
  • London