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17.09.2020

John Lewis scraps staff bonus for the first time in over 70 years

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The prized incentive will be scrapped in 2021

Stocks impacted: John Lewis Partnership Plc (JLP)

In another sign that the coronavirus pandemic is weighing on British retailers, John Lewis Partnership Plc decided not to pay staff an annual bonus after a first-half loss. The retailer made an interim loss of £55 million, similar to that suffered in the comparable period last year. At John Lewis department stores, total trading sales fell 9.7% to £1.86 billion and like for likes were down 9.5%. The last time that the company decided not to pay a bonus to its staff was in the aftermath of World War Two. The company reported that the prized incentive will be scrapped in 2021. John Lewis now expects a small loss or a small profit for the full year as stores have reopened, but sales remain 30% down on last year. Its worst-case scenario remains a sales drop of 5% at Waitrose and 35% at John Lewis.

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