John Lewis & Partners, owner of the eponymous department store chain and supermarket Waitrose, has warned on annual profits.
The retail partnership said full-year profits will be “substantially down” after it revealed like for like sales at John Lewis fell by 2% over the seven weeks to 4 January.
At Waitrose, like for like sales rose by 0.2%.
The firm also announced that John Lewis & Partners managing director Paula Nickolds will leave in February after being appointed to the role in 2017.
She will exit as the partnership implements a transformation programme next month which will merge the managements of its High Street department stores and Waitrose grocery chain into a single team.
Dame Sharon White, the former boss of telecoms operator Ofcom, is joining as chair of John Lewis & Partners, and will formally take on the role in February.
Commenting on Ms Nickolds, John Lewis & Partners said, “After some reflection on the responsibilities of her proposed new role, we have decided together that the implementation of the Future Partnership structure in February is the right time for her to move on and she will leave the partnership with our gratitude and best wishes for the future.”
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