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John Lewis outlook remains uncertain heading into winter

John Lewis Partnership posts pre-tax loss of £29m

Robust online sales and reduced Covid-related costs allowed John Lewis Partnership to reduce its losses, although it remains in the red after taking on £100m of costs by closing its stores and letting go of thousands of staff.

The partnership, which includes Waitrose, posted a pre-tax loss of £29m for the six months ending in July.

This was an improvement on the £635m loss that came a year ago when the firm was badly impacted by the onset of the pandemic.

The retailer said it will not yet make a decision on resuming staff bonuses or give back business rates as its outlook remains uncertain.

Usually, John Lewis makes the brunt of its profits in H2 with Christmas being its busiest time of the year.

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Dame Sharon White, John Lewis’s chairwoman, said that “even with the success of the vaccination programme the course of the pandemic this winter is hard to call”.

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