John Lewis Partnership have announced they are to cut staff bonuses, and pay out the lowest since 1953 as profits fell by 23%.
John Lewis posted underlying pre-tax profits to £123m for 2019, a drop of 23%.
New chairwoman Sharon White said, “We need to reverse our profit decline and return to growth so that we can invest more in our customers and in our partners.
“This will require a transformation in how we operate as a partnership and could take three to five years to show results.
“We are stepping into a vital new phase for the partnership and I have no doubt we will come through it stronger.”
Andy Barr, retail expert and co-founder of online price tracking website www.alertr.co.uk said, “John Lewis is a big household name, but sadly not the first – and no doubt they won’t be the last – big name brand to take a hit on the high street.
“They’ve continued to open new stores around the UK for the last few years, which in hindsight wasn’t a smart move considering this is the third year in a row the partnership has seen a decrease in profits.
“Thankfully for the Partnership, Waitrose is doing well and has helped the profit loss slightly. It’s never ideal to be closing stores, especially when you consider job losses, but it could be the best way to save John Lewis and the partnership.”