John Lewis has warned that profits for the first half of the year will be “close to zero” and five of its 353 Waitrose stores will close.
BBC reported that last year, John Lewis Partnership, which owns John Lewis department stores and Waitrose supermarkets, made £26.6m in the first half of 2017 and is blaming “heavy investment” for this year’s expected fall.
Along with its warning of zero profits for H1 2018, the group said there were a “wide range of possible outcomes, for the full year, given the market uncertainty”. However, John Lewis will continue to invest between £400m and £500m in the business each year.
The BBC also reported that there will be name changes for the group’s stores, with John Lewis and Waitrose being rebranded as John Lewis & Partners and Waitrose & Partners.
The company said the aim of the rebranding was to differentiate the group from other retailers. The rebranding will begin in September with London’s Oxford Street store.
Back in March, PCR reported that despite a profit decline of 77%, sales of home technology products and electrical goods were on the up at John Lewis, rising annually by 2.6%.