John Lewis set to report results amid hopes of further turnaround progress
JLP, which runs the John Lewis department store business, including sites in Edinburgh and Glasgow, and Waitrose grocery chain, is due to unveil its financial results for the half-year to July in an update on Thursday.
It comes amid a period of significant change at the retailer, including a move away from its famous “never knowingly undersold”. The group recently unveiled a new strapline of “for all life’s moments” as it looks to broaden and modernise its appeal.
Staff at the firm, who are known as partners, will hope that the change can help drive the retailer’s recent positivity.
The John Lewis department store business cut thousands of jobs and axed stores in 2020, including its Aberdeen site, as the pandemic exacerbated pressure already felt by the group.
However, the company sprang back into the black last year, posting a £181 million pre-tax profit in the year to January 2022, as it was boosted by record sales from its department stores.
The profits, marking the group’s strongest result for four years, also led the business to restore its annual bonus for employees ahead of previous expectations.
Partners will be hopeful that this recent trajectory has continued as Covid restrictions eased further and will be keen to hear guidance later this week as to what their bonus might look like come next year.
Retail analyst Nick Bubb said John Lewis looks “well placed” ahead of the update. However, he also flagged that “there are doubts about the recent performance of Waitrose”, with recent data from Kantar pointing to lower sales at the upmarket supermarket chain.
Bubb also highlighted that higher costs and the lack of business rates relief could affect profitability.
It comes as John Lewis was among several businesses to pay tribute to the Queen last week.
A John Lewis spokeswoman said: “We are deeply saddened by the death of Her Majesty The Queen. She faithfully served the nation as our sovereign during her long, happy and glorious reign.
“We extend our heartfelt sympathy to the royal family.”
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