John Lewis poised to slash bonus for partners

John Lewis “partners” are likely to see their annual bonus slashed this week when the employee-owned department store chain unveils a slide in profits.

John Lewis warned that it might have to axe the bonus payout for the first time since 1953. Picture: Neil Hanna
John Lewis warned that it might have to axe the bonus payout for the first time since 1953. Picture: Neil Hanna

The partnership, which includes supermarket business Waitrose, warned in January that it might have to axe the bonus payout for the first time since 1953 as it battles tough conditions on the high street.

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Independent retail analyst Nick Bubb said: “They could still afford to pay a 3 per cent bonus, which would cost circa £45 million, but they have softened the staff up for nothing.”

Outgoing chairman Sir Charlie Mayfield said in January that the board will need to consider carefully whether “payment of a bonus is prudent in the light of business and economic prospects”.

The bonus news will come alongside what is likely to be disappointing full-year figures. Bubb said there could be a 40 per cent fall in pre-tax profits to some £172m.