John Lewis Bonus

March 7, 2012 by staff 

John Lewis Bonus, John Lewis and Waitrose staff saw their bonuses cut to seven weeks of salary as the retail chain suffered its first profits fall since 2009 after being dragged into a price war.

The partnership, which is owned by its 81,000 employees, saw earnings in the year to January 28 fall four per cent to £353.8m in the year to January 28 after its Never Knowingly Undersold pledge, where it matches rivals’ special offers, cost it £23.8m.

That meant the payout to staff declined from 18 per cent to 14 per cent of salary, resulting in a pot of £165.2m. It was the lowest bonus proportion since 2005.

The group’s price focus protected sales last year while marketing campaigns, such as those by celebrity chefs Heston Blumenthal and Delia Smith at Waitrose and its successful pre-Christmas advert for John Lewis, meant revenues lifted by 6.4 per cent to £8.7bn.

The improvement has continued since then, with partnership sales 7.7 per cent higher in the five weeks since the end of the reporting period.

John Lewis department stores, which include branches in Cheadle and the Trafford Centre, saw sales increase one per cent to £2.79bn, but operating profits fell 20 per cent to £157.9m.

Cheadle managing director Margaret Jacques said consumer electronics had seen impressive sales, while Lucy Ramseyer, managing director at Trafford, said home accessories and childrenswear had experienced strong growth.

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