John Lewis staff net 17 per cent bonus as retailer boosts profits

Retailer records £409m profits as staff reap benefits from the employee-owned firm
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John Lewis has announced that over 80,000 staff have been rewarded with bonuses of up to 17 per cent as a result of the firm's growing profits.

The retailer's partnership, which also includes supermarket chain Waitrose revealed it had generated pre-tax profits of £409m – a 15.8 per cent increase on the previous year.

As a result, employees have netted bonuses of up to 17 per cent of their salary, equal to almost nine weeks of work.

With John Lewis owned by its employees, a percentage of the firm's profits are paid out annually as bonuses each year.

The firm's bonus pool grew to £210m this year, up from the 14 per cent achieved last year, which resulted in the higher payouts for staff.

"This has been a good year for the partnership with growth in sales and profit above our expectations," said chairman Charlie Mayfield, "Both Waitrose and John Lewis gained market share for what is now the fourth consecutive year."

"We were encouraged by the acceleration in the rate of sales growth during the year, particularly in the final quarter. Although the market remains challenging, the Partnership has adapted quickly and successfully and we saw the benefits this year."

Retailers like John Lewis, which boast both a strong retail and online presence proved to be successful throughout the Christmas period, whilst fellow firms such as Jessops and Comet collapsed into administration

As entertainment retailers HMV and Blockbuster continue to fight their way out of administration whilst announcing further store closures and job losses, John Lewis has created 3,800 jobs over the last 12 months and continues to thrive.

Given the successes seen by John Lewis in the retail sector, it will be interesting to see if any other firms follow suit and adopt a business model similar to the firm's partnership.

Chris Gates, director of retail at Hitatchi Consulting believes that it is something fellow retailers should look into in order to reap the potential benefits.

“With signs of growth emerging in the retail world, John Lewis’ full-year profits cement its status as one of the clear winners in the omni-channel evolution," said Gates.

"As retailers continue to battle for customer’s loyalty, the John Lewis partnership is a clear example of the benefits that can be achieved by adapting and ensuring customers receive a seamless experience across all channels.

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