John Lewis owner cutting 1,500 jobs after closing shops and scrapping bonuses

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The John Lewis Partnership (JLP) has announced it will cut up to 1,500 jobs at its head office in a bid to save millions of pounds.

The retail giant, one of many companies hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, is planning to axe the roles by April 2021.

JLP, which runs John Lewis department stores and Waitrose supermarkets, said it would try to find new roles in the company for those affected.

The company hopes to save another £50 million as it seeks to secure £300 million in annual savings by 2022.

The announcement comes months after it revealed plans to shut eight John Lewis stores with the loss of 1,300 jobs and the closure of four Waitrose stores in a move which hit 124 jobs.

In September, the group also told staff they would not receive a bonus for the first time since 1953 after it dived to a £635 million pre-tax loss for the six months to July, following a £470 million writedown on its stores.

The partnership said the latest cuts are part of an efficiency plan designed to "create an agile and flexible head office" which is closer to customers and frontline staff.

Sharon White, chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, said: "Our partnership plan sets a course to create a thriving and sustainable business for the future.

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"To achieve this we must be agile and able to adapt quickly to the changing needs of our customers.

"Losing partners is incredibly hard as an employee-owned business.

"Wherever possible, we will seek to find new roles in the partnership and we'll provide the best support and retraining opportunities for partners who leave us."

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On Wednesday, November 4, the group also said that Patrick Lewis, executive director of finance and great-grandson of the company's founder, will leave the business.

It said he will be replaced by current executive director for customer service Berangere Michel, who will not be replaced as a result of the head office restructuring.

Mr Lewis said: "I've felt very lucky to be part of a leadership team in such an extraordinary organisation.

"I'm immensely proud of the role the partnership plays in demonstrating a better way of doing business, and hugely grateful for the unstinting support I've had from colleagues over such a long period in furthering that goal."

  • John Lewis

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