The John Lewis Partnership today posteda first half loss of £99m – thanks to soaring inflation.
The department store group warned a “uniquely uncertain” outlook in the run-up to Christmas would put the staff annual bonus at risk this year.
Sharon White, the partnership’s chair, said: “No one could have predicted the scale of the cost of living crisis that has materialised, with energy prices and inflation rising ahead of anyone’s expectations.
“As a business, we have faced unprecedented cost inflation across grocery and general merchandise.
“A successful Christmas is key for the business given the first half. We will need a substantial strengthening of performance, beyond what we usually achieve in the second half, to generate sufficient profit to share a partnership bonus with Partners. Much will depend on the wider economic outlook and consumer sentiment.”