In a very difficult year, with the possibility of a further eight John Lewis store closures likely to impact on the supply chain – which includes many gift and homewares suppliers – the John Lewis Partnership has announced a loss of £517m before tax for the financial year which ended on January 2021, compared to a profit before tax of £146m in the previous year.
“This is the result of substantial exceptional costs, mainly the write down in the value of John Lewis shops owing to the pronounced shift to online, as well as restructuring and redundancy costs from store closures and changes to our head office,” explained John Lewis Partnership’s chairman Sharon White. “We are going through the greatest scale of change in the Partnership’s 156-year history. Johnlewis.com has grown significantly in the financial year, up 73%, equating to three quarters of the brand’s sales, from 40% before the crisis.”
Looking to the year ahead, John Lewis’ five-year plan will include destination storesalongside smaller format “best of John Lewis” stores, plus the likely roll out of John Lewis areas within Waitrose stores which are currently being trialled in Horley, Godalming, Lincoln, Lymington and Wallingford.
“It’s really exciting to be working closely with Waitrose on stocking more and more John Lewis products in their stores,” Sara Allbright, John Lewis Partnership’s buyer for Gifts and Candleshop, told GiftsandHome.net. “This year will see several new ranges of John Lewis branded home fragrance launch in store alongside collaborative working on all the big seasonal events.”
If successful, the John Lewis ‘mini’ stores will go into a significant number of Waitrose’s 331 shops, with all general merchandise in Waitrose shops sourced from John Lewis.
Top: John Lewis’ flagship Oxford Street store.