John Lewis to consider dropping its staff bonus

PUBLISHED: 12:59 10 January 2019 | UPDATED: 16:33 10 January 2019

John Lewis. Picture: Kevin Lines

John Lewis. Picture: Kevin Lines

Archant

Retailer John Lewis & Partners, which has a branch in Welwyn Garden City, is to discuss whether it is “prudent” to have a staff bonus.

The upmarket retailer released its post-Christmas trading update this morning, after a strong Christmas trading period in which sales increased 12.8 per cent “thanks to the extraordinary efforts of Partners in our business”, according to company chair Sir Charlie Mayfield.

However, that’s not enough to give the company a rosy forecast for 2019, according to Sir Mayfield.

“We continue to expect full year total Partnership profits to be substantially lower this year”, he sai,, putting it down to slow sales growth and the company’s ongoing investment into its IT systems.

The company is well known for its generous bonus scheme which offers employees - or ‘partners’, as they are known, a percentage bonus on staff salaries annually.

John Lewis & Partners will consider dropping the staff bonus despite strong Christmas sales in 2018. Picture: Alan DaviesJohn Lewis & Partners will consider dropping the staff bonus despite strong Christmas sales in 2018. Picture: Alan Davies

The rate changes each year based on an assessment of the company’s performance.

However, Sir Mayfield said today: “The board will need to consider carefully in March ... whether payment of a bonus is prudent in the light of business and economic prospects at that time.”

The news may come as a shock to current employees, who received a five per cent bonus for 2018.

The company added ‘& Partners’ to its name last year in a rebranding attempt to highlight the value of its employees to the company.

Over the past year the company has warned that in an unprecedentedly challenging time for the high street it expected its profits to be “close to zero”, closing five Waitroses in June 2018, which also form part of the company.

READ MORE: John Lewis Partnership announces five Waitrose closures

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