John Lewis to axe 1,500 head office jobs

John Lewis has announced plans to axe a further 1,500 head office jobs in an attempt to return to profit.

The retailer said on Wednesday that it plans to cut the additional jobs as part of a target to annually save £300m.

“Our partnership plan sets a course to create a thriving and sustainable business for the future. To achieve this we must be agile and able to adapt quickly to the changing needs of our customers,” said chairman, Sharon White.

“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,” White added.

In other news that the retailer announced today that executive director of finance, Patrick Lewis, will be replaced by Bérangère Michel. Lewis is the only family member still working at the company and will be stepping down after 26-years at the retailer.

White said about Lewis stepping down: “His determined drive to build the financial strength of the business has granted us the opportunity to emerge stronger from the Covid crisis.”

So far this year, John Lewis has permanently closed eight of its 50 department stores and has already announced plans to cut 1,300 jobs. 

“Before the virus struck, 40% of John Lewis sales were online. This could now be closer to 60% to 70% of total sales this year and next,” the company said in a statement over summer.

The retailer hopes to create a simpler and more “agile and flexible head office.”