Losses narrow at John Lewis as transformation plan gets extended by two years

The John Lewis Partnership managed to narrow its losses by 14 per cent in the first half of this year but has been affected by rising costs due to inflation which have knocked back the company's ambitious transformation plan.

In a financial report covering the 26 weeks to 29 July 2023, the retailer said that losses before tax and exceptional items fell from £66.8 million to £57.3 million. Losses before tax narrowed by 41 per cent from £99.2 million to £59.0 million.

The company said that sales across the group were up around two per cent compared to this time last year. Customers were spending more on fashion, beauty and dining in but were holding back on big ticket items and technology purchases.

The report added that the partnership had been affected by inflation and increased the firm’s costs by £179 million.

As a result, the firm’s Partnership Plan which aims to transform the company, will take two years longer to implement. The greater than expected investment costs mean that it will be delivered in 2027/2028 rather than 2023/2026.

The Partnership Plan will now focus on productivity and efficiency. It is expected to achieve cost benefits of around £600 million.

Sharon White, chairman of the partnership, said: “The Partnership is a unique model that has been tested and come through stronger many times in our 100 year history. While change is never easy - and there is a long road ahead – there are reasons for optimism. Performance is improving. More customers are shopping with us. Trust in the brands and support for the Partnership model remain high.”

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