The John Lewis Partnership welcomes Michael Herlihy as its new Partnership Secretary

LONDON, 2018-Feb-15 — /EPR Retail News/ — The John Lewis Partnership today announced the appointment of Michael Herlihy as Partnership Secretary who joins on 16 April 2018. This follows the departure of Keith Hubber, who left in January after three years at the Partnership.

Sir Charlie Mayfield, Chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, said: ‘I am pleased to announce the appointment of Michael Herlihy as Partnership Secretary.  This new title reflects the responsibilities Michael will take on for the duties previously carried out by Keith Hubber in the role of General Counsel, leading both the Legal Directorate and Company Secretariat.  Michael joins us from Smiths Group, where he was General Counsel for ten years, heading up their Group Legal function.  He brings a wealth of experience to the John Lewis Partnership.’

Previously, Michael spent twenty six years in a variety of roles at Imperial Chemical Industries PLC including Group Taxation Controller, General Counsel and Executive Vice President, Mergers & Acquisitions.  He has also held a variety of non-executive roles including that of Senior Independent Director (and formerly Chair of the Remuneration Committee) at Imperial Brands plc.  Michael is a solicitor and graduate of St Catherine’s College, Oxford.

Michael Herlihy said, ‘I am excited to be joining the Partnership. Having admired its brands and values for many years, it is a privilege to be invited to build on the good work already done by Keith Hubber and his team and to support the Chairman, Partnership Board and Executive Team in the next phase of the Partnership’s development.’

Notes to editors

The John Lewis Partnership – operates 49 John Lewis shops across the UK, johnlewis.com, 353 Waitrose shops, waitrose.com and business to business contracts in the UK and abroad. The business has annual gross sales of over £11bn. It is the UK’s largest example of an employee-owned business where all 84,000 staff are Partners in the business.

Enquiries

For more information please contact:

Sarah Henderson
Group Senior External Communications Manager, Corporate Affairs
Mobile: 07764 676 036
Email: sarah.henderson@johnlewis.co.uk

The John Lewis Partnership names Andrew Murphy Chief Information Officer (CIO)

London, 2017-Dec-07 — /EPR Retail News/ — The John Lewis Partnership today (6 December 2017) announced Andrew Murphy as its next Chief Information Officer (CIO). Andrew is currently Group Productivity Director for the Partnership and will take up the CIO role on 1 February 2018. He will replace Paul Coby who will leave the Partnership at the end of April 2018 after almost seven years.

Sir Charlie Mayfield, Chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, said: ‘I want to take this opportunity to thank Paul for his outstanding contribution to our business and the legacy he has left. Paul was the architect of the IT strategy for John Lewis, which helped to transform the business into a leading omni-channel retailer.’

Andrew joined the John Lewis Partnership in 1992 and performed a number of roles. This included MD of John Lewis Aberdeen and MD of John Lewis Edinburgh. In 2009 Andrew was appointed Director, Operational Development before becoming Retail Director, John Lewis in 2010 and in 2015 – Group Productivity Director, where he has led the Partnership’s change programme.

Notes to editors

The John Lewis Partnership – operates 49 John Lewis shops across the UK, johnlewis.com, 352 Waitrose shops, waitrose.com and business to business contracts in the UK and abroad. The business has annual gross sales of over £11bn. It is the UK’s largest example of an employee-owned business where all 84,000 staff are Partners in the business.

Enquries:

For more information please contact:

Sarah Henderson
Group Senior External Communications Manager
Corporate Affairs
Telephone: 07764 676 036
Email: sarah.henderson@johnlewis.co.uk

Source: The John Lewis Partnership

John Lewis Partnership announces the departure of Group Development Director Tom Athron

London, 2017-Oct-26 — /EPR Retail News/ — John Lewis Partnership Chairman, Sir Charlie Mayfield, has announced that Group Development Director, Tom Athron, will leave the business in spring 2018.

Sir Charlie said: ‘Tom has enjoyed a successful 12 years in the Partnership and has decided that he now wishes to explore new opportunities outside the Partnership. We wish him every success in the future.’

Notes to editors

The John Lewis Partnership – operates 48 John Lewis shops across the UK, johnlewis.com, 352 Waitrose shops, waitrose.com and business to business contracts in the UK and abroad. The business has annual gross sales of over £11bn. It is the UK’s largest example of an employee-owned business where all 84,000 staff are Partners in the business.

Enquiries:
For more information please contact:

Sarah Henderson
Group Senior Communications Manager
Telephone: 07764 676 036
Email: sarah.henderson@johnlewis.co.uk

Source: John Lewis Partnership

John Lewis Partnership announces provision of £36m to cover potential costs of complying with National Minimum Wage Regulations

London, 2017-May-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — In its Annual Report and Accounts published today (9 May 2017), the John Lewis Partnership announces it has made a provision of £36m to cover the potential costs of complying with the National Minimum Wage (NMW) Regulations.

While the Partnership’s contractual hourly rates of pay have never been below the NMW, it intends to work with HMRC to understand if all its arrangements meet the specific criteria of what are some quite complex Regulations. The Partnership is specifically looking at its practice of Pay Averaging which aims to smooth out a Partner’s pay over a year to ensure a consistent amount is paid to them each month in respect of their basic pay. This arrangement was implemented to support Partners with a steady and reliable monthly income, but we now believe this arrangement may not meet the strict timing requirements for calculating compliance with the NMW regulations.

Once we have completed our detailed review, we will make any retrospective payments required to current and former Partners affected. There is a wide range of potential outcomes and so we have made a provision of £36m as an exceptional charge for the year ended 28 January 2017. The total provision is to cover any payments that might become due, along with employer’s National Insurance, pension costs and other associated costs.

Sir Charlie Mayfield, Chairman of the John Lewis Partnership said: ‘In our Annual Report and Accounts we have made a provision for any payment we may be required to make to comply with the National Minimum Wage Regulations. In the Annual Report we have said that arrangements have already been made to make these payments and contact former Partners. HMRC are aware and we intend to work with them in order to resolve some of the key points regarding the way the NMW Regulations apply to our pay arrangements and practices. We expect to do this as quickly as possible. However, it is likely these discussions will take some time to be completed.’

Notes to editors

The John Lewis Partnership – operates 48 John Lewis shops across the UK, johnlewis.com, 354 Waitrose shops, waitrose.com and business to business contracts in the UK and abroad. The business has annual gross sales of over £11bn. It is the UK’s largest example of an employee-owned business where all 86,700 staff are Partners in the business.

Enquiries:
For further information please contact:

Citigate
Dewe Rogerson
Simon Rigby/Jos Bieneman
Telephone: 020 7638 9571

John Lewis Partnership
Simon Fowler
Director of Communications
Mobile: 07710 398460

Source: John Lewis Partnership

John Lewis Partnership announces Christmas trading and outlook

London, 2017-Jan-14 — /EPR Retail News/ —

Highlights include:

  • Total sales at the John Lewis Partnership were up 4.9% versus last year1  to £1,913.0m
  • John Lewis and Waitrose traded well, with both brands gaining market share2
  • Waitrose gross sales (excluding fuel) were £914.9m, up 4.8%1 versus last year and up 2.8%1 on a like-for-like basis
  • John Lewis gross sales were £998.1m, up 4.9%1 versus last year and up 2.7%1 on a like-for-like basis
  • Profit before Partnership Bonus, tax and exceptionals for the year ending 28 January 2017 is expected to be up on last year with lower pension accounting charges offsetting trading pressures on profit
  • Partnership strategy will be accelerated to prepare the business for the challenges ahead
  • The Partnership Board will decide on the level of Bonus in March, but, given the challenging market outlook and the importance of investment for the future, the Board expects that bonus is likely to be significantly lower than last year

Sir Charlie Mayfield, Chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, commented:

‘We traded strongly over Christmas with sales up nearly 5% and both Waitrose and John Lewis grew market share.  Sales were particularly strong in the areas that have been the focus for product innovation this year, such as our Waitrose 1 premium range and John Lewis own-brand fashion. Our multi-channel capability has again proved its worth with online accounting for 40% of total sales in John Lewis.

Operational performance was good across both brands. That was thanks to the hard work and commitment of Partners across shops, distribution and head offices. As a result we sustained a strong sales performance right through to Christmas and enabled a great start post Christmas including Clearance.

However, although we expect to report profits up on last year, trading profit3 is under pressure. This reflects the greater changes taking place across the retail sector. We expect those to quicken, especially in the next 12 months as the effects of weaker Sterling feed through. We will now accelerate aspects of our strategy. This will involve a period of significant change, investment and innovation to ensure the Partnership’s success.’

Waitrose

  • Gross sales (excluding fuel) up 4.8%  to £914.9m, with like-for-like sales up 2.8%
  • Convenience sales up 13.1% and 4.8% on a like-for-like basis
  • Online grocery sales up 0.8%

Sales were driven by demand for premium items with the Waitrose 1 ‘best in class’ range seeing a 21.4% uplift.

Hospitality was another key area of growth with sales up 4.9% as customers took advantage of the growing casual dining and snacking opportunities in our shops, while little Waitrose convenience shops also saw strong like for like growth.

A successful promotional campaign, including one day only offers for Christmas staples, such as champagne and crackers, proved effective in building footfall in the pre-Christmas period.

Online grocery sales saw an uplift in both orders and average order value, while John Lewis Click and Collect sales which were picked up in Waitrose shops were up 18.5% on last year.

John Lewis

  • Gross sales up 4.9% to £998.1m, with like-for-like sales up 2.7%
  • Online sales up 11.8%, representing 40.0% of sales. Shop sales up 0.8%.
  • Across product areas: Home up 2.7%, Fashion up 7.2% and EHT up 4.8%

John Lewis outperformed the market again this year, with the pattern of trade characterised by the three peaks of Black Friday, Christmas week, and Clearance.

The channel mix saw a continued shift to online. Shopping on mobile phones was the online channel of choice with sales up 80.9%, accounting for 37% of all traffic. Click & Collect sales were up 14.5%, accounting for 52% of online orders.  Shop sales were up, trading well pre-Christmas as last-minute shopping delivered a record week for branches.

Operationally, our supply chain performed particularly well; on the Saturday after Black Friday our Magna Park distribution centre processed 33% more units than the equivalent in 2015.

Outlook

We expect the full year Profit before Partnership Bonus, tax and exceptionals to be ahead of last year. However, that will be substantially as a result of lower pension accounting charges following the changes to our pension scheme from April 2016 and the effect of favourable market interest rates used to determine the pension accounting costs at the beginning of this year.  Trading profit is under pressure as a result of wider changes taking place in retail.

The most obvious of these changes is the channel shift from shops to online. The other major influence is pricing, where deflation continues in food and non-food, despite rising input costs as a result of weakness in the Sterling exchange rate.

These factors are significant for the outlook where we expect both inflationary cost pressures and competition to intensify in the market as a whole. The rate of retail market sales growth may slow and the rate of profit growth that is achievable will be affected by margin pressure.

We have decided to comment on Bonus implications at this stage because the Partnership’s strong Christmas trading, and the likelihood of higher reported profits, risk overshadowing the importance the Board is placing on the challenging market outlook, our determination to maintain a strong balance sheet and our commitment to accelerating our strategy. The precise level of the Bonus will be decided as usual in March, but, in view of these factors, it is likely to be significantly lower than last year.

John Lewis Partnership plc will report its full year results ended 28 January 2017 on 9 March 2017.

1The six week period this year to 31 December 2016 includes an additional trading day in shops compared to last year’s six week period to 2 January 2016. Excluding the additional trading day like-for-like sales were broadly level in Waitrose and approximately 2% up in John Lewis
2Kantar Grocery data for Waitrose / BRC for John Lewis
3Trading profit is Profit before Partnership Bonus, tax and exceptionals and before pension costs

Notes to editors

The John Lewis Partnership – operates 48 John Lewis shops across the UK, johnlewis.com, 351 Waitrose shops, waitrose.com and business to business contracts in the UK and abroad. The business has annual gross sales of over £11bn. It is the UK’s largest example of an employee-owned business where all 88,900 staff are Partners in the business.

Waitrose – winner of the Best Supermarket1 and Best Food Retailer2 awards- currently has 351 shops in England, Scotland, Wales and the Channel Islands, including 62 convenience branches, and another 27 shops at Welcome Break locations. It combines the convenience of a supermarket with the expertise and service of a specialist shop – dedicated to offering quality food that has been responsibly sourced, combined with high standards of customer service.  Waitrose also exports its products to 58 countries worldwide and has eight shops which operate under licence in the Middle East. Waitrose’s omnichannel business includes the online grocery service Waitrose.com, as well as specialist online shops including waitrosecellar.com for wine.

¹ Which? Customer Survey
² Verdict Customer Satisfaction Awards

John Lewis – John Lewis operates 48 John Lewis shops across the UK (34 department stores, 12 John Lewis at home and shops at St Pancras International and Heathrow Terminal 2) as well as johnlewis.com. John Lewis  ‘Best In-Store Experience 2016’, ‘Best Clothing Retailer 2016,’ ‘Best Electricals Retailer 2016,’ ‘Best Furniture Retailer 2016,’ ‘Best Homewares Retailer 2016’ and ‘Best Click & Collect Retailer 2016’1, typically stocks more than 350,000 separate lines in its department stores across fashion, home and technology. Johnlewis.com stocks over 280.000 products and is consistently ranked one of the top online shopping destinations in the UK. John Lewis Insurance offers a range of comprehensive insurance products – home, car, wedding and event, travel and pet insurance and life cover – delivering the values of expertise, trust and customer service expected from the John Lewis brand.

1Verdict Consumer Satisfaction Awards 2016

You can follow John Lewis on the following social media channels:
www.johnlewis.com/twitter
www.johnlewis.com/facebook
www.johnlewis.com/youtube.

Enquiries:
For further information please contact:

Citigate Dewe Rogerson
Simon Rigby
Jos Bieneman
Telephone: 020 7638 9571

John Lewis Partnership
Simon Fowler
Director of Communications
Telephone: 07710 398460

Katie Robson
Senior Manager, Group External Communications
Telephone: 07764 675608

John Lewis
Peter Cross
Director, Communications
Telephone: 07764 697674

Gillian Taylor
Head of External Communications
Telephone: 07919 057931

Waitrose
Christine Watts
Communications Director
Telephone: 07764 676414

Graeme Buck
Head of Communications
Telephone: 07703 379561

Source: John Lewis

The John Lewis Partnership announces the appointment of Paula Nickolds as Managing Director

London, 2016-Oct-27 — /EPR Retail News/ — The John Lewis Partnership announces today ( 25 October 2016) that Paula Nickolds will be appointed Managing Director, John Lewis.

Paula joined the Partnership in 1994 as a graduate trainee in John Lewis Oxford Street. She held a number of senior roles before joining the John Lewis management board as Buying & Brand Director in 2013. Most recently as Commercial Director, she has been responsible for innovation in John Lewis’s product assortment and the look and feel of its shops.

Sir Charlie Mayfield, Chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, said: ‘At a time of transformation in the retail sector, Paula’s progressive and dynamic leadership is just what’s needed for the next phase of modern retailing.’

Paula Nickolds said: ‘As a Partner with 22 years service, I know just how special the John Lewis Partnership is. Driven by our unique business model, and with innovation in our DNA, I am immensely excited to lead John Lewis on the next stage of our journey.’

Paula will take up the position from January 2017. Dino Rocos will be the lead director responsible for John Lewis operations between 28 October and Paula’s start date, focusing on the delivery of seamless customer service during the critical peak trading period.

Notes to editors

The John Lewis Partnership – operates 48 John Lewis shops across the UK, johnlewis.com, 350 Waitrose shops, waitrose.com and business to business contracts in the UK and abroad. The business has annual gross sales of over £11bn. It is the UK’s largest example of an employee-owned business where all 88,900 staff are Partners in the business.

Waitrose – winner of the Best Supermarket1 and Best Food Retailer2 awards- currently has 350 shops in England, Scotland, Wales and the Channel Islands, including 61 convenience branches, and another 27 shops at Welcome Break locations. It combines the convenience of a supermarket with the expertise and service of a specialist shop – dedicated to offering quality food that has been responsibly sourced, combined with high standards of customer service.  Waitrose also exports its products to 58 countries worldwide and has eight shops which operate under licence in the Middle East. Waitrose’s omnichannel business includes the online grocery service Waitrose.com, as well as specialist online shops including waitrosecellar.com for wine and waitrosekitchen.com for cookware, utensils and kithchen gadgets.

¹ Which? Customer Survey
² Verdict Customer Satisfaction Awards

John Lewis – John Lewis operates 48 John Lewis shops across the UK (34 department stores, 12 John Lewis at home and shops at St Pancras International and Heathrow Terminal 2) as well as johnlewis.com. It is part of the John Lewis Partnership, the UK’s largest example of worker co-ownership and all 30,000 John Lewis staff are Partners in the business. John Lewis  ‘Best In-Store Experience 2016’, ‘Best Clothing Retailer 2016,’ ‘Best Electricals Retailer 2016,’ ‘Best Furniture Retailer 2016,’ ‘Best Homewares Retailer 2016’ and ‘Best Click & Collect Retailer 2016’1, typically stocks more than 350,000 separate lines in its department stores across fashion, home and technology. Johnlewis.com stocks over 280.000 products and is consistently ranked one of the top online shopping destinations in the UK. John Lewis Insurance offers a range of comprehensive insurance products – home, car, wedding and event, travel and pet insurance and life cover – delivering the values of expertise, trust and customer service expected from the John Lewis brand.

1Verdict Consumer Satisfaction Awards 2016

You can follow John Lewis on the following social media channels:
www.johnlewis.com/twitter
www.johnlewis.com/facebook
www.johnlewis.com/youtube.

Contact:

Citigate Dewe Rogerson

Simon Rigby / Jos Bieneman
Telephone: 020 7638 9571

John Lewis Partnership

Katie Robson
Senior Communications Manager, John Lewis Partnership
Email: katie.robson@johnlewis.co.uk
Mobile: 07764 675608

Sian Grieve
Senior Communications Manager, John Lewis
Email: sian.grieve@johnlewis.co.uk
Mobile: 07525 271812

Source: John Lewis Partnership

The John Lewis Partnership announces that Andy Street to step down as Managing Director

London, 2016-Oct-03 — /EPR Retail News/ — The John Lewis Partnership today (30 September 2016) announces that Andy Street will step down as Managing Director, John Lewis on 28 October. After a 31 year career with the Partnership, including nine years as Managing Director, John Lewis, it was confirmed last night that Andy has been selected as the official Conservative Party candidate for the office of Mayor of the West Midlands.

The successor to the position of Managing Director will be announced in due course.

Sir Charlie Mayfield, Chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, said: ‘Andy has led John Lewis brilliantly and leaves the brand with great momentum for the future. I would like to thank him for his passionate contribution to the Partnership.’

Andy Street said: ‘It has been a privilege to lead John Lewis through a transformational period in the retail industry, and I am confident that we have built a business which will continue to thrive while being loyal to its principles.

‘The success of John Lewis is down to the hard work and dedication of thousands of Partners across the country, and I know that they will continue to serve our customers with distinction.’

Notes to editors

The John Lewis Partnership – operates 47 John Lewis shops across the UK, johnlewis.com, 350 Waitrose shops, waitrose.com and business to business contracts in the UK and abroad. The business has annual gross sales of over £11bn. It is the UK’s largest example of an employee-owned business where all 88,900 staff are Partners in the business.

Waitrose – winner of the Best Supermarket1 and Best Food Retailer2 awards- currently has 350 shops in England, Scotland, Wales and the Channel Islands, including 61 convenience branches, and another 27 shops at Welcome Break locations. It combines the convenience of a supermarket with the expertise and service of a specialist shop – dedicated to offering quality food that has been responsibly sourced, combined with high standards of customer service.  Waitrose also exports its products to 58 countries worldwide and has eight shops which operate under licence in the Middle East. Waitrose’s omnichannel business includes the online grocery service Waitrose.com, as well as specialist online shops including waitrosecellar.com for wine and waitrosekitchen.com for cookware, utensils and kithchen gadgets.

¹ Which? Customer Survey
² Verdict Customer Satisfaction Awards

John Lewis – John Lewis operates 47 John Lewis shops across the UK (33 department stores, 12 John Lewis at home and shops at St Pancras International and Heathrow Terminal 2) as well as johnlewis.com. It is part of the John Lewis Partnership, the UK’s largest example of worker co-ownership and all 30,000 John Lewis staff are Partners in the business. John Lewis  ‘Best In-Store Experience 2016’, ‘Best Clothing Retailer 2016,’ ‘Best Electricals Retailer 2016,’ ‘Best Furniture Retailer 2016,’ ‘Best Homewares Retailer 2016’ and ‘Best Click & Collect Retailer 2016’1, typically stocks more than 350,000 separate lines in its department stores across fashion, home and technology. Johnlewis.com stocks over 280.000 products and is consistently ranked one of the top online shopping destinations in the UK. John Lewis Insurance offers a range of comprehensive insurance products – home, car, wedding and event, travel and pet insurance and life cover – delivering the values of expertise, trust and customer service expected from the John Lewis brand.

1Verdict Consumer Satisfaction Awards 2016

You can follow John Lewis on the following social media channels:
www.johnlewis.com/twitter
www.johnlewis.com/facebook
www.johnlewis.com/youtube.

General information

For further information please contact:

John Lewis press office

Gillian Taylor
Head of Communications, John Lewis
Email: gillian.e.taylor@johnlewis.co.uk
Mobile: 07979 157931
Telephone: 020 7592 5635

Sian Grieve
Senior Communications Manager, John Lewis
Email: sian.grieve@johnlewis.co.uk
Mobile: 07525 271812
Telephone:020 7592 6887

Katie Robson
Senior Communications Manager, John Lewis Partnership
Email: katie.robson@johnlewis.co.uk
Mobile: 07764 675608

Source: The John Lewis Partnership

British retail industry employs 100,000 people in roles that didn’t even exist five years ago – BRC

LONDON, 2016-Sep-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — British retail today employs 100,000 people in roles that didn’t even exist five years ago, figures compiled by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) reveal today (September 21, 2016). While overall numbers of employees in retail are expected to fall over the coming few years, innovative ways of working will also create tens of thousands of new types of job including digital artworkers, online merchandisers and even personal stylists.

As 42 retail businesses employing 1,200,000 people lent their support to a shared vision of The Journey to Better Jobs in the industry, BRC Chief Executive Helen Dickinson said the data proved just how creative and dynamic retailers are becoming as structural changes in the market, competitive pressures and higher costs drive the unprecedented pace of transformation:

“Retailers have always been quick to adapt to the changing competitive environment, but the fact that over the coming five years they will create more jobs in new roles than Google employs worldwide[1] shows just what fantastic opportunities retail offers in all kinds of roles,” Dickinson said.
“Where once retail jobs were stigmatised as just ‘shelf-stacking,’ the industry is now a leader in offering opportunities in app development, microbiology or events planning.”

Data from BRC members showed that over three per cent of retail employees are occupied in roles that didn’t exist five years ago. With the majority of these jobs in occupations requiring high levels of technical, scientific or creative skill, this means that there are more people working in new roles in retail than are employed by the entire UK aerospace industry[2].

The Journey to Better Jobs is the third report in its ‘Retail 2020′ series, which examines the way retail jobs are changing and how we can ensure more rewarding and better-paid jobs in the industry in years to come.

The report provides a roadmap for improvement in a broad range of areas that are vitally important to retail employees. These include the way in which training supports progression, customising jobs to cater for differing life needs, making routes to progression more accessible and means of engaging people in improving productivity.

Chairman of John Lewis Partnership Sir Charlie Mayfield said: “The UK retail market is the most competitive in the world and it is undergoing a level of structural change not seen before, driven by the phenomenal speed of new technology. We all need to rethink how our businesses operate, what our customers need in the future and what this means for the skills of the people we employ. We don’t believe the transition will be easy but we are committed to ensuring that in the future there will be better jobs in retail.”

Conor D’Arcy at the independent think tank the Resolution Foundation said: “The fast-changing nature of retail presents huge challenges for employers and their staff. But the vast creation of new kinds of jobs also creates opportunities to boost the skills of retail staff and support progression up the career ladder and onto higher pay. It’s vital that retailers get on board with this task of making retail an attractive industry to work and grow in.”

Case Study
Luke Simmons – Product Owner in Sainsbury’s Digital and Technology Division
In 2004, while looking for a secure job that could offer him good prospects, Luke started to work as a temporary checkout operator at his local Sainsbury’s store in Harlow, during the busy Christmas period. In the New Year, Luke was offered a permanent role as a checkout operator and later promoted to the position of Team Leader.

Luke then asked to join Sainsbury’s management scheme and became a manager at a new flagship store in Hertfordshire. During his time there, he managed the introduction of new Scan and Go technology designed to help customers shop more quickly. After developing his interest in technology, Luke joined Sainsbury’s IT Department in London helping other stores introduce Scan and Go.

In 2014, Sainsbury’s created a new Digital and Technology Division. The new, 1000 strong team creates and manages its websites and Apps, and supports its online businesses, as well as providing more traditional IT support. Luke applied to become a Product Owner – one of the hundreds of new jobs created by the new Division. Today, he is a qualified Product Owner and leads a team of 12 developers, designers and testers who together created, and now manage, the Sainsbury’s Groceries App.

Notes to editors:
– Interviews available on request. The BRC can facilitate interviews with retail employees in new roles.

for media enquiries:
zoe maddison
communications assistant, BRC
tel: +44 (0)20 7854 8924

Source: BRC

John Lewis Partnership plc releases Interim Financial Statements for half year ended 30 July 2016

London, 2016-Sep-18 — /EPR Retail News/ — Unaudited condensed Interim Financial Statements for the half year ended 30 July 2016 Strict Stock Exchange Embargo, 7.00am.

Taking charge of our future

Financial Summary

Waitrose John Lewis Partnership
£m YoY
Change
£m YoY
Change
£m YoY
Change
Gross sales(1) 3,250.6 2.2% 2,023.7 4.5% 5,274.3 3.1%
LFL sales(2) (1.0)% 3.1%
Revenue 3,064.4 2.2% 1,607.0 3.8% 4,671.4 2.7%
Operating profit before exceptional items(3) 121.3 (10.5)% 32.4 (31.2)% 138.7 (4.3)%
Operating profit(3) 96.3 (28.9)% 32.4 (31.2)% 113.7 (58.3)%
PBT before exceptional items(3) 81.9 (14.7)%
PBT(3) 56.9 74.6%
Net debt 549.3 17.3%

(1) Gross sales includes sale or return sales and VAT
(2) Waitrose like-for-like sales excludes petrol
(3) Includes property profits of £0.5m in Waitrose (2014/15: £nil)
(4) Kantar 12 week Grocery data for Waitrose / BRC for John Lewis

Sir Charlie Mayfield, Chairman of John Lewis Partnership, commented:‘We have grown gross sales and market share across both Waitrose and John Lewis, but our profits are down. This reflects market conditions and, in particular, steps we are taking to adapt the Partnership for the future. These are not as a consequence of the EU referendum result, which has had little quantifiable impact on sales so far. Instead there are far reaching changes taking place in society, in retail and in the workplace that have much greater implications.

Our ownership structure makes it especially important that we manage the Partnership carefully and thoughtfully for the long term and our plans anticipate the impact of these bigger changes. Evidence of that is already showing within these results and will become increasingly evident as we implement our long-term strategy.’

Key points

  • Solid gross sales growth of 3.1% with increased market shares (4) and rising customer numbers in challenging markets
  • PBT before exceptional items down 14.7% to £81.9m as we respond to the deep structural changes in the retail market. Our commitment to competitive pricing, excellent service, maintaining pay differentials and investing for the long term have held back profits. We expect these pressures to continue through this year and next
  • Exceptional charge of £25.0m for the write-down of property assets no longer intended to be developed and related costs, following a strategic review (2015/16: income of £128.0m following the sale of the Clearings building)
  • Net debt of £549.3m, £115.3m (17.3%) lower than 1 August 2015 and consistent with our strategy of strengthening our balance sheet. Increase in net debt since January 2016 of £176.8m (47.5%)
  • Accounting pension deficit of £1,453.7m, £512.1m (54.4%) higher than January 2016, reflecting a significant decrease in the real discount rate used to value the liabilities due to historically low bond yields. Net of deferred tax, the deficit was £1,209.1m

Chairman’s overview

In the first half of the year, the Partnership’s gross sales grew 3.1% to £5.27bn. Waitrose gross sales grew 2.2% and John Lewis gross sales by 4.5%, with both brands growing market share and customer numbers. PBT before exceptionals was down by 14.7% with lower operating profits in Waitrose and John Lewis and higher financing costs for our long leave scheme, partly offset by reduced pension operating costs.

Our first half profits are always lower and often more volatile than in the second half which typically accounts for at least two-thirds of our annual profits. We have also decided to prioritize a number of key areas of investment including in IT, our distribution network and in pay, as well as making a shift towards our existing stores in Waitrose which has resulted in exceptional property asset write-downs. These decisions form part of our strategy to get ahead of the significant changes that are affecting the wider retail market and we are confident they will position us well for the future.

Our focus further into the future is reflected in every aspect of the Partnership’s strategy, which was launched internally last year and described in detail in our Annual Report. It has three main themes.

The first is to strengthen our financial position, both to increase the resilience of our balance sheet to market shocks and to build our financial firepower to invest in new growth in the future. In the last six months we have taken a number of steps in this direction. In April 2016 we implemented changes to our pension benefit, agreed in 2015, which will reduce the Partnership’s future risk exposure. We will also reduce capital expenditure to approximately £460m this year, 7% lower than last year, as part of our planned reduction in net debt, which has improved by 17% since last year. We also continue to make progress with the priority we have placed on improving productivity.

Secondly, we have anticipated the significant changes in how customers are choosing to shop and we are renewing our focus on strengthening the appeal of our two well-loved brands. This includes continuing with a greater proportion of investment in IT and our supply chain – both are critical to improving service and convenience. We are also increasing our focus on innovation. Examples this half include the launch of the Waitrose 1 premium range and a new own-brand luxury womenswear label, Modern Rarity, in John Lewis. We are also developing a series of initiatives to explore new growth opportunities and will make further announcements on these in due course.

Thirdly, we are committed to creating better jobs, for better performing Partners, on better pay. We intend to ensure Partners’ pay remains well above the National Living Wage on average, and in this year’s pay review in March, rates increased by 5.1% on average for our lowest paid Partners. Additional annualised pay costs for our lowest paid Partners will be £33m greater as a result, whereas had we simply complied with the National Living Wage, costs would have been only £3m higher than last year. However, higher pay depends on better productivity and greater contribution and we anticipate that this will mean we will have fewer Partners over time as compared to today. We are developing comprehensive plans to enhance job design, progression pathways and development support.

Outlook 2016/17

For the first six weeks of the second half, Partnership gross sales are up 3.8%. Waitrose gross sales have increased by 5.0% (1.4% like-for-like, excluding petrol) and John Lewis gross sales are 2.0% higher than last year (0.7% like-for-like). While we expect to trade well compared to the market, the structural changes in retail will not ease.

Our PBT before exceptional items is down 14.7% in the first half as we respond to the changes in the retail market. Our commitment to competitive pricing, excellent service, increasing pay and investing for the long term have held back profits. We expect the trading pressures to continue through this year and next. The EU referendum result has had little quantifiable impact on sales in the first half, but the uncertainty of leaving the EU will remain and the full impact of this change is yet to become clear.

Financial Results

In the first six months of the year, the Partnership delivered solid gross sales growth with both Waitrose and John Lewis increasing their market shares and customer numbers. Partnership gross sales (inc VAT) were £5.27bn, an increase of £157.7m, or 3.1%, on last year. Revenue, which is adjusted for sale or return sales and excludes VAT, was £4.67bn, up by £124.2m or 2.7%.

Partnership operating profit was £113.7m, down £159.2m, or 58.3% on last year. This includes an exceptional charge of £25.0m in Waitrose for the write-down of property assets no longer intended to be developed and related costs, following a strategic review re-prioritising future investment spend towards existing stores (2015/16: income of £128.0m following the sale of the Clearings building). Excluding the exceptional items, operating profit was £138.7m, down £6.2m or 4.3% on last year.

Profit before tax was £56.9m, down by £167.1m, or 74.6% on last year. Excluding the exceptional items it was £81.9m, down by £14.1m or 14.7%.

Waitrose

In a market that remains challenging, we grew gross sales, market share and customer numbers. Gross sales increased by 2.2% to £3.25bn, while like-for-like sales decreased by 1.0%. Online grocery sales grew by 4.3%. Our share of the market(5)was up to 5.2% and we had, on average, 250,000 more customer transactions a week compared to last year.

Operating profit before exceptional items was down 10.5% to £121.3m, impacted not only by the market conditions but also increases in pay to maintain differentials, investment in IT and higher supply chain costs following the transition to our new National Distribution Centre operation.

Including the exceptional item of £25.0m for the write-down of property assets that we now no longer intend to develop and related costs, operating profit was down 28.9% to £96.3m.

We opened seven new branches in the first half of the year, five core supermarkets and two convenience branches, and we closed one convenience branch. In the second half and beyond our Modern Waitrose strategy continues as we plan to increase both the depth and pace of investment in our existing stores. This will enable us to get the best value from our estate and to put even greater focus on what sets Waitrose apart: high quality and high service. As we shift the focus of our investment towards our existing branches the rate of new space growth will slow.

Hospitality sales grew by 7.1% and we now have 121 cafes, 81 bakery grazing areas, seven wine bars and nine juice bars in our branches. As customers’ shopping and eating patterns change hospitality will play a big part in our branch programme; our next step will be to trial new concepts in our shops at Barbican, Chandlers Ford and Twyford during the second half.

We will continue to innovate with high quality, high provenance products. A highlight of the first half of this year was the launch of the Waitrose 1 premium range which underlines our leadership in this area and brings together in one brand the very best of Waitrose. The sales uplift in products in this range has been encouraging, up 19.4% on last year.

We now have 6.4 million myWaitrose cardholders, an increase of 7.5% in the last six months, with customers continuing to respond positively to the range of offers and rewards.

Overseas, we already export Waitrose products to 58 countries. A new export deal with Alibaba Group has given us the opportunity to export to China for the first time; and a partnership with online retailer, British Corner Shop, means that people in more than 100 countries are now able to buy over 2,000 Waitrose product lines.

(5) Kantar 12 week Grocery data

John Lewis

In a retail industry under pressure in the face of transformational change, John Lewis has continued to outperform, delivering solid gross sales of £2.02bn, up 4.5%, with strong like-for-like sales growth of 3.1% as we prepare for the critical sales and profit driving second half.

Despite growing sales, operating profit fell by 31.2% to £32.4m, with more than half of this decline due to transitioning costs in our distribution network as we temporarily maintain legacy sites to smooth the transition to Magna Park, and increases in pay to maintain differentials. The balance of the reduction reflects the continued shift to online and a market dynamic of competitive pricing, both of which we expect to continue into the second half.

Against this backdrop we remain committed to delivering our strategy and the first half saw record capital investment in the essentials of omnichannel trading as we go into our most important peak trading period.

The role of fulfilment is underscored by the state-of-the-art, industry-leading campus at Magna Park we will open in September, part of a £150 million investment which will streamline our network to become more productive and deliver better service to our customers.

Across our product areas, we increased gross sales and market share and invested in our in-house design capability to build our unique combination of own-brand collections and the best brands on the high street.

  • EHT was up 8.4%, driven by our computing and tablet category, up 8.7%, mobile phones and our industry-first Smart Home concept in Oxford Street.
  • Fashion performed well in a declining market with sales up 2.8%, with womenswear up 4.0% and menswear up 4.9%, boosted by our collaboration with vlogger Jim Chapman. Beauty was up 4.0%, and we are investing in refurbishments of our beauty halls. We were the first high street outlet to sell online brands Finery and Selfish Mother.
  • Sales in Home were up 3.7%, as we continue to build towards a £1bn own brand business in the category. Sales were driven by furniture, up 6.8%, with beds up 13.7%. Outdoor living had a record half, up 14.0%. Our roll-out of West Elm continued and is now in 7 shops.

Our strategy for shops continues to be anchored in convenience and experience – giving our customers a reason to visit shops and inspiring them when they are there. While sales through this channel were down 1.0%, 65.5% of our merchandise sales come from branches and three-quarters of our customers buy in shops.

This year we will open in two new locations; in Leeds, our most services and experience led branch to date, and in Chelmsford, our first shop in Essex. Both will feature new concepts as well as our full in-store service offer across interior design, personal styling and technical advice.

Online sales represented 34.5% of total merchandise sales, up from 30.6% last year. Because our customers continue to value the convenience of digital and mobile shopping to complete their purchases, we have fully integrated our desktop, mobile and app, and have introduced services such as the Personal Style Edit and ‘Find Similar’.

Overseas we are continuing to roll out our wholesale model with shop-in-shops in Australia and Ireland opening next year, taking our total international locations to 29, and we have increased the number of countries where johnlewis.com delivers to 40.

Despite unpredictable customer sentiment and long-term structural challenges faced by the retail industry, we are confident that our ongoing investments and our omnichannel strategy will position us to outperform the market in the critical second half where the majority of our sales and profit are delivered.

Partnership Services Group

Partnership Services and Group includes the operating costs for our Group offices and shared services, the costs for pan-Partnership initiatives and transformation programmes, and certain pension operating costs. Partnership Services and Group net operating costs increased by £3.2m or 19.6%, principally reflecting additional costs supporting initiatives to either drive sales growth through new business opportunities or to reduce costs through increased productivity. However, overall costs decreased by £22.7m to £15.0m, due to the decrease in pension operating costs.

Investment in the future

Capital investment in the first half of the year was £200.5m, a decrease of £37.4m (15.7%) on the previous year. Investment in Waitrose was £76.1m, down £38.7m (33.7%) on the previous year, and in John Lewis investment was £115.7m, up £6.5m (6.0%).

We have continued to focus our investment in IT and distribution, which now represents 55% of our total capital investment, up from 48% last year. In addition, we have decided to prioritize future investment in Waitrose in our existing shops ahead of new space.

Pensions

The pension operating cost was £96.4m, a decrease of £26.0m or 21.2% on the prior year costs, reflecting the impact of our move to a hybrid pension scheme combining defined benefit and defined contribution pensions from April 2016, as well as an increase in the real discount rate used to determine the cost to 0.70% at the beginning of the year from 0.35% at the beginning of the previous year. Pension finance costs were £14.8m, a decrease of £3.7m or 20.0% on the prior year, reflecting a reduction due to a lower accounting pension deficit at the beginning of the year than at the beginning of the previous year. As a result, total pension costs were £111.2m, a decrease of £29.7m or 21.1% on the prior year.

In February 2016, given the Partnership’s strong liquidity position, we made a cash contribution of £137.0m to the pension scheme to prepay approximately 10 months of contributions. As a result, in the first half of the year, total cash contributions to the pension scheme totalled £139.3m, an increase of £56.5m or 68.2%. We are currently undertaking a triennial actuarial valuation as at 31 March 2016, our first since the changes to our pension benefit, which will determine our ongoing contribution rate. The valuation should conclude by December 2016.

The total accounting pension deficit at 30 July 2016 was £1,453.7m, an increase of £512.1m (54.4%) since 30 January 2016. Net of deferred tax, the deficit was £1,209.1m. Pension fund assets increased by £551.9m (13.1%) to £4,750.3m. However, the accounting valuation of pension fund liabilities increased by £1,064.0m (20.7%) to £6,204.0m, mainly reflecting a decrease in the real discount rate used to value the liabilities to -0.25% at July 2016 compared to 0.70% at January 2016, due to historically low bond yields. If this market driven rate persists at these levels to the end of January 2017, it will result in a significant increase in our pension operating costs for the next financial year, the year ending 27 January 2018.

Our deficit has increased by £512.1m over the last 6 months, driven by the steep reduction in interest rates. We are unusual in having an open defined benefit scheme, which means that it is a long term liability – our average duration is around 20 years – and that allows us to target higher returns than the average pension fund. We agree cash funding with the Trustee based on that long term funding commitment. Our open defined benefit pension scheme is an important part of the total reward that Partners receive, and as a co-owned business we have more flexibility in the balance between pay, pension and distribution of profits than many other organisations.

Financing

At 30 July 2016, net debt was £549.3m, £115.3m (17.3%) lower than 1 August 2015, reflecting our focus on cash generation and the reduction in capital investment. Net debt is £176.8m (47.5%) higher than January 2016.

Net finance costs on borrowings and investments decreased by £1.9m (6.1%) to £29.2m, mainly reflecting reduced finance costs following the repayment of the Partnership Bond in April 2016. After including the financing elements of pensions and long service leave and non-cash fair value adjustments, net finance costs increased by £7.9m (16.2%) to £56.8m, impacted by higher long leave financing costs arising from volatility in market driven assumptions.

Sustainability

We continue to embed sustainability in our business, understanding that being a responsible business has wide-reaching implications and underpins our long-term success. This year, Waitrose became the first retailer to announce a deadline to switch all branded canned tuna to more sustainable fishing methods. Recognising the threat from plastics to marine ecosystems, Waitrose is phasing out microbeads from all cosmetics, and cotton bud stems will soon be replaced with biodegradable paper. John Lewis is providing training to suppliers in the requirements of the Modern Slavery Act and has launched a supply chain mapping-tool in order to help suppliers identify sustainable sources of wood and paper.

Notes to editors

The John Lewis Partnership – operates 46 John Lewis shops across the UK, johnlewis.com, 349 Waitrose shops,waitrose.com and business to business contracts in the UK and abroad. The business has annual gross sales of over £11bn. It is the UK’s largest example of an employee-owned business where all 88,900 staff are Partners in the business.

Waitrose – winner of the Best Supermarket1 and Best Food Retailer2 awards- currently has 349 shops in England, Scotland, Wales and the Channel Islands, including 60 convenience branches, and another 27 shops at Welcome Break locations. It combines the convenience of a supermarket with the expertise and service of a specialist shop – dedicated to offering quality food that has been responsibly sourced, combined with high standards of customer service.  Waitrose also exports its products to 58 countries worldwide and has eight shops which operate under licence in the Middle East. Waitrose’s omnichannel business includes the online grocery service Waitrose.com, as well as specialist online shops including waitrosecellar.com for wine and waitrosekitchen.com for cookware, utensils and kithchen gadgets.

¹ Which? Customer Survey
² Verdict Customer Satisfaction Awards

John Lewis – John Lewis operates 46 John Lewis shops across the UK (32 department stores, 12 John Lewis at home and shops at St Pancras International and Heathrow Terminal 2) as well as johnlewis.com. John Lewis  ‘Best In-Store Experience 2016’, ‘Best Clothing Retailer 2016,’ ‘Best Electricals Retailer 2016,’ ‘Best Furniture Retailer 2016,’ ‘Best Homewares Retailer 2016’ and ‘Best Click & Collect Retailer 2016’1, typically stocks more than 350,000 separate lines in its department stores across fashion, home and technology. Johnlewis.com stocks over 280.000 products and is consistently ranked one of the top online shopping destinations in the UK. John Lewis Insurance offers a range of comprehensive insurance products – home, car, wedding and event, travel and pet insurance and life cover – delivering the values of expertise, trust and customer service expected from the John Lewis brand.

1Verdict Consumer Satisfaction Awards 2016

You can follow John Lewis on the following social media channels:
www.johnlewis.com/twitter
www.johnlewis.com/facebook
www.johnlewis.com/youtube.

General information:

For further information please contact:

Citigate Dewe Rogerson
Simon Rigby / Jos Bieneman
Telephone: 020 7638 9571

John Lewis Partnership
Simon Fowler
Director of Communications
Mobile: 07710 398460

Katie Robson
Group Senior External Communications Manager
Mobile: 07764 675608

John Lewis
Peter Cross
Director, Communications
Mobile: 07764 697674

Gillian Taylor
Head of External Communications
Mobile: 07919 057931

Waitrose
Christine Watts
Communications Director
Mobile: 07764 676414

Graeme Buck
Head of Communications
Mobile: 07703 379561

Debt investors
Alan Drew
Group Head of Treasury
Mobile: 07525 582955

Lynn Lochhead
Assistant Group Treasurer
Mobile: 07834 770684

Source:  John Lewis

John Lewis Partnership announces the appointment of Keith Williams as non-executive Deputy Chairman

LONDON, 2016-Mar-23 — /EPR Retail News/ — The John Lewis Partnership announces the appointment of Keith Williams as non-executive Deputy Chairman, succeeding Mark Price who leaves the Partnership on 4 April 2016, as announced in October 2015. Keith Williams will be taking up his new role from 4 April 2016.

Keith joined the Partnership Board as a non-executive director in March 2014. In addition to his new role as Deputy Chairman, Keith has agreed to extend his term as a Non-Executive Director for a further two years.

Keith is currently Executive Chairman of British Airways and is retiring from his role on 31 March. He joined the airline in 1998 and became Chief Executive in 2011. Prior to joining British Airways he worked for a range of major corporations including Reckitt and Coleman, Apple Computer Inc and Boots. He is also Independent Non-Executive Director of Transport for London.

Sir Charlie Mayfield, Chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, said: ‘I’m delighted Keith has agreed to take up the role of Deputy Chairman. In the two years since his appointment to the Board he has made a valuable contribution to the Partnership and I look forward to working with him in his new role’.

Notes to editors

The John Lewis Partnership – The John Lewis Partnership operates 46 John Lewis shops across the UK, johnlewis.com, 346 Waitrose shops, waitrose.com and business to business contracts in the UK and abroad. The business has annual gross sales of over £11bn. It is the UK’s largest example of an employee-owned business where all 91,500 staff are Partners in the business.

Waitrose – winner of the Best Supermarket1 and Best Food and Grocery Retailer2 awards- currently has 346 shops in England, Scotland, Wales and the Channel Islands, including 60 convenience branches, and another 27 shops at Welcome Break locations. It combines the convenience of a supermarket with the expertise and service of a specialist shop – dedicated to offering quality food that has been responsibly sourced, combined with high standards of customer service.  Waitrose also exports its products to 58 countries worldwide and has seven shops which operate under licence in the Middle East. Waitrose’s omnichannel business includes the online grocery service Waitrose.com, as well as specialsit online shops including waitrosecellar.com for wine and waitrosekitchen.com for cookware, utensils and kithchen gadgets.

¹ Which? Customer Survey
² Verdict Customer Satisfaction Awards

John Lewis – John Lewis operates 46 John Lewis shops across the UK (32 department stores, 12 John Lewis at home and shops at St Pancras International and Heathrow Terminal 2) as well as johnlewis.com. John Lewis, ‘Best Clothing Retailer 2015’ , ‘Best Electricals Retailer 2015’ and ‘Best Homewares Retailer 2015’3, typically stocks more than 350,000 separate lines in its department stores across fashion, home and technology. Johnlewis.com stocks over 280,000 products, and is consistently ranked one of the top online shopping destinations in the UK. John Lewis Insurance offers a range of comprehensive insurance products – home, car, wedding and event, travel and pet insurance and life cover – delivering the values of expertise, trust and customer service expected from the John Lewis brand.

3 Verdict Consumer Satisfaction Awards 2015

You can follow John Lewis on the following social media channels:
www.johnlewis.com/twitter
www.johnlewis.com/facebook
www.johnlewis.com/youtube.

Enquiries

For further information please contact:

John Lewis Partnership
Katie Robson
Senior Manager, Group External Communications
Telephone: 020 7592 6296

Citigate Dewe Rogerson
Simon Rigby / Jos Bieneman
Telephone: 020 7638 9571

Sir Charlie Mayfield, Chairman of the John Lewis Partnership: Strong Christmas trading period for the Partnership

  • Total sales at the John Lewis Partnership in the six weeks to Saturday 2 January were up 4.1% from the same period last year to £1,811.1m
  • Waitrose gross sales (excluding fuel) were £859.8m, up 1.2% compared with last year and down 1.4% on a like-for-like basis
  • John Lewis gross sales were £951.3m, up 6.9% compared with last year and up 5.1% on a like-for-like basis
  • Expectations for profit before Partnership Bonus, tax and exceptionals for the year ending 30 January 2016 remains unchanged at between £270m and £320m versus £342.7m last year.

 

LONDON, 2016-1-7 — /EPR Retail News/ — Sir Charlie Mayfield, Chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, commented:

‘This has been a strong Christmas trading period for the Partnership despite the non-food market seeing significant shifts in trade patterns and the grocery market continuing to be challenging.

John Lewis achieved another very strong sales performance with impressive growth across all three categories of Fashion, Home and Technology.  Waitrose had record trading days leading up to Christmas and good growth online, while like-for-like sales declined overall during the six-week period.

Click and Collect continued to show the strength of our two brands working together as a proposition for customers, with 35% of John Lewis online orders collected from Waitrose branches. I was particularly pleased to see overall customer numbers increase 5.8% against the same period last year.

Our performance reflects to a large extent the significant investment we have made in our distribution and IT capability. Despite the fact trade was even more concentrated across a number of very busy shopping days, our operations performed especially well.’

Waitrose

  • Sales (excluding fuel) up 1.2% to £859.8m, with like-for-like sales down 1.4%
  • Strong online sales growth with grocery sales up 7.9%, with sales over the Christmas and New Year weeks up 9.8%
  • Sales through direct services websites – including wines, hampers, flowers and kitchen gadgets – grew by 28.1%

 

Peak trade came particularly late this year and was more concentrated than usual in the days before Christmas. Waitrose had record trading days on 23 and 24 December, with sales up 6.0% and up 5.5% respectively.

Our dot.com fulfilment centre in Coulsdon, which celebrated its first Christmas, operated effectively with almost all slots filled as early as November.

John Lewis

  • Sales up 6.9% to £951.3m, with like-for-like sales up 5.1%
  • Online sales were up 21.4%, representing 40% of total sales
  • Balanced contribution from all three product areas, Home up 5.1%, Fashion up 6.1% and EHT (technology) up 9.6%
  • Successful start to Clearance with sales up 23.0% for week ending 2 January1

Patterns of trade shifted significantly, characterised by three distinct sales peaks – Black Friday, Christmas and Clearance – with higher sales and a different channel mix for each peak.

The combination of our shops, website and fulfilment centres worked together effectively.  For example, on the Black Friday weekend our distribution teams processed 18% more parcels than last year, which equated to five units per second during the peak hour. Sales in our shops for the total six week period were down 1.2%, reflecting lower footfall pre-Christmas, but were up 16.2% during the first week of Clearance (week ending 2 January).

Online sales grew by 21.4% compared to last year and mobile continued to be our fastest-growing channel, with sales from smartphones and tablets up 31%. Sales through Click & Collect were up 16% and it was the delivery method of choice for half of all online orders.

John Lewis Partnership full year profit guidance

Sir Charlie Mayfield, Chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, commented:

‘Our strong Christmas trading performance gives us further confidence in the guidance provided at our interim results in September, where we indicated that we expected the full year Profit before Partnership Bonus, tax and exceptionals to be between £270m and £320m.  This guidance reflected both good operational progress but also an increase of approximately £60 million in pension charges as a result of market driven volatility.  Our guidance therefore remains unchanged.’

John Lewis Partnership plc will report its full year results ended 30 January 2016 on 10 March 2016.

1This figure includes the first day of Clearance in shops moving into Week 48 this year. Last year the first day of Clearance in shops was Saturday 27 December 2014. This year it was Sunday 27 December 2015.

Notes to editors

The John Lewis Partnership – The John Lewis Partnership operates 46 John Lewis shops across the UK (32 department stores, 12 John Lewis at home and shops at St Pancras International and Heathrow Terminal 2), johnlewis.com, 346 Waitrose shops, waitrose.com and business to business contracts in the UK and abroad. The business has annual gross sales of over £10bn. It is the UK’s largest example of worker co-ownership where all 88,700 staff are Partners in the business.

Waitrose – the Nation’s Favourite Supermarket¹ and winner of the Best Supermarket² and Best Food and Grocery Retailer³ awards – currently has 346 shops in England, Scotland, Wales and the Channel Islands, including 62 convenience branches, and another 28 shops at Welcome Break locations. It combines the convenience of a supermarket with the expertise and service of a specialist shop – dedicated to offering quality food that has been responsibly sourced, combined with high standards of customer service.  Waitrose also exports its products to 58 countries worldwide and has seven shops which operate under licence in the Middle East. Waitrose’s omnichannel business includes the online grocery service Waitrose.com, as well as direct services websites including a specialist wine website (waitrosecellar.com)

¹ Which? Best Supermarket, 2015
² Good Housekeeping Best Supermarket 2015
³ Verdict Best Food and Grocery Retailer 2015

John Lewis – ‘Best Clothing Retailer 2015′, Best Electricals Retailer 2015’ and ‘Best Homewares Retailer 2015’¹, typically stocks more than 350,000 separate lines in its department stores across fashion, home and technology. Johnlewis.com stocks over 280,000 products, and is consistently ranked one of the top online shopping destinations in the UK. John Lewis Insurance offers a range of comprehensive insurance products – home, car, wedding and event, travel and pet insurance and life cover – delivering the values of expertise, trust and customer service expected from the John Lewis brand.

¹ Verdict Consumer Satisfaction Awards 2015

You can follow John Lewis on the following social media channels:
www.johnlewis.com/twitter
www.johnlewis.com/facebook
www.johnlewis.com/youtube.

Enquiries

For further information please contact:

John Lewis Partnership
Andrew Moys, Director of Communications
Telephone: 07525 272377
Katie Robson, Senior Manager, Group External Communications
Telephone: 07764 675608

Citigate Dewe Rogerson
Simon Rigby
Georgia Colkin
Telephone: 020 7638 9571

John Lewis
Peter Cross, Director, Communications
Telephone: 07764 697674
Sîan Grieve, Senior Communications Manager, Corporate & Brand
Telephone: 07525 271812

Waitrose
Christine Watts, Communications Director
Telephone: 07764 676414
Gill Smith, Senior Manager, Corporate PR
Telephone: 07887 898133

SOURCE: The John Lewis Partnership

Mark Price to step down as Managing Director of Waitrose and Deputy Chairman and to leave the Partnership on 3 April 2016

Rob Collins appointed new Managing Director of Waitrose

LONDON, 2015-10-21 — /EPR Retail News/ — The John Lewis Partnership announces today that, after a 33 year career, Mark Price has set out his intention to step down as Managing Director of Waitrose and Deputy Chairman and to leave the Partnership on 3 April 2016.  Mark has worked with Sir Charlie Mayfield, the Partnership’s Chairman, to agree the timing of his leaving in the best interests of the Partnership.

Rob Collins, Waitrose’s Retail Director, has been appointed to succeed Mark when he steps down.  Rob has been with the Partnership for 22 years, initially with John Lewis in a number of senior roles before moving to Waitrose in 2007 to establish its e-commerce business.  In 2010 Rob was appointed Personnel Director and in early 2012 was appointed Retail Director.

Sir Charlie Mayfield said: ‘Mark is pursuing new opportunities, but he will remain a passionate advocate of the Partnership and its ownership model.  He has had a long and distinguished career with the Partnership and his leadership of Waitrose has seen outstanding success.  As a member of the Partnership Board for 11 years and Deputy Chairman since 2013, Mark has played a key role in steering the Partnership and has been a valued and trusted colleague.

‘Rob Collins has been a central figure in Waitrose’s management team for a number of years and his strong leadership skills and operational success have ensured that he has been a central part of the Board’s thinking on succession planning for some time.  I’m confident that he will make the step-up to the Managing Director role quickly and effectively.’

The John Lewis Partnership – The John Lewis Partnership operates 45 John Lewis shops across the UK (32 department stores, 11 John Lewis at home and shops at St Pancras International and Heathrow Terminal 2), johnlewis.com, 342 Waitrose shops, waitrose.com and business to business contracts in the UK and abroad. The business has annual gross sales of over £10bn. It is the UK’s largest example of worker co-ownership where all 88,700 staff are Partners in the business.

John Lewis – John Lewis operates 45 John Lewis shops across the UK (32 department stores, 11 John Lewis at home and shops at St Pancras International and Heathrow Terminal 2) as well as johnlewis.com. It is part of the John Lewis Partnership, the UK’s largest example of worker co-ownership and all 30,000 John Lewis staff are Partners in the business. John Lewis, ‘Best Clothing Retailer 2015’ , ‘Best Electricals Retailer 2015’ and ‘Best Homewares Retailer 2015’¹, typically stocks more than 350,000 separate lines in its department stores across fashion, home and technology. Johnlewis.com stocks over 280,000 products, and is consistently ranked one of the top online shopping destinations in the UK. John Lewis Insurance offers a range of comprehensive insurance products – home, car, wedding and event, travel and pet insurance and life cover – delivering the values of expertise, trust and customer service expected from the John Lewis brand.

¹ Verdict Consumer Satisfaction Awards 2015

You can follow John Lewis on the following social media channels:
www.johnlewis.com/twitter
www.johnlewis.com/facebook
www.johnlewis.com/youtube.

Waitrose – the Nation’s Favourite Supermarket¹ and winner of the Best Supermarket² and Best Food and Grocery Retailer³ awards – currently has 342 shops in England, Scotland, Wales and the Channel Islands, including 61 convenience branches, and another 28 shops at Welcome Break locations. It combines the convenience of a supermarket with the expertise and service of a specialist shop – dedicated to offering quality food that has been responsibly sourced, combined with high standards of customer service.  Waitrose also exports its products to 50 countries worldwide and has seven shops in the Middle East. (www.waitrose.com)

¹ Conlumino Awards, 2014
² Good Housekeeping Best Supermarket 2014, Which? Best Supermarket 2014
³ Verdict Best Food and Grocery Retailer 2014

Enquiries

For further information please contact:

John Lewis Partnership
Andrew Moys, Director of Communications
Telephone: 020 7592 6292

Citigate Dewe Rogerson
Simon Rigby
Telephone: 020 7638 9571

John Lewis Partnership plc 1H-2015 Interim results: Solid first half for the Partnership in a difficult market

LONDON, 2015-9-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Unaudited condensed Interim Financial Statements for the half year ended 1 August 2015

Solid first half for the Partnership in a difficult market

Financial Summary

Waitrose John Lewis Partnership
£m YoY
Change
£m YoY
Change
£m YoY
Change
Gross sales 3,180.8 1.1% 1,935.8 3.8% 5,116.6 2.1%
LFL sales(1) (1.3)% 3.0%
Revenue 2,998.7 1.1% 1,548.5 3.6% 4,547.2 1.9%
Operating profit before exceptional item(2)(3) 135.5 (6.7)% 47.1 (16.3)% 144.9 (17.7)%
Operating profit(3) 272.9 55.0%
PBT(4)before exceptional item(2)(3) 96.0 (26.0)%
PBT(3)(4) 224.0 72.6%

(1) Waitrose like-for-like sales excludes petrol
(2)  Exceptional income of £128.0m (2014/15: £nil) following the sale of the Clearings building
(3) Includes property profits of £nil (2014/15: £10.5m in Waitrose and £0.5m in Group). Excluding property profits, Waitrose operating profit is up 0.6%
(4)  Profit before Partnership Bonus and tax

Operating highlights

  • Robust sales performance and increased market share(5) in both Waitrose and John Lewis
  • Continued growth in customer numbers, up 7% in Waitrose and 6% in John Lewis
  • 18% increase in number of active myWaitrose card holders and strong take-up of ‘Pick Your Own Offers’ scheme with 700,000 customers now taking part
  • 5 new Waitrose branches and a new .com distribution centre in Coulsdon; first John Lewis full line department store in 4 years set to open in Birmingham following £35m investment
  • Waitrose national distribution centre (NDC) opened and announcement of third John Lewis NDC, both in Milton Keynes
  • International expansion with new John Lewis shop-in-shops in Singapore and the Philippines

Financial Highlights

  • Operating profit before property profits up £0.8m (0.6%) in Waitrose and down £9.2m (16.3%) in John Lewis; both impacted by incremental holiday pay costs(6) and a higher share of central costs as well as restructuring costs in John Lewis
  • Waitrose total volume growth of 1.8%; LFL sales decline of 1.3% reflecting tough grocery market conditions, with price deflation, and strong prior year comparative through promotion-driven online performance last year
  • Johnlewis.com gross sales(7) up 17.1% to £647m. Sales transacted in shops decreased 1.8%, partly due to comparison to 150 Year anniversary celebrations last year, but were up 1.7% over a two year period
  • PBT before exceptional items down 26.0%, predominantly due to higher pension charges, arising from volatility in the market driven assumptions, and last year’s property profits
  • As pension charges for the full year will be approximately £60m higher than the comparable figure for last year, and given the tough trading environment, PBT before exceptional items for the year ending 30 January 2016 expected to be between £270m and £320m versus £342.7m last year
  • Strong cash generation driven by lower capital investment and the sale of the Clearings building
  • Net debt(8) of £664.6m, £30.2m (4.3%) lower than July 2014 despite the issue of a £300m bond in December 2014, with net proceeds contributed to the pension scheme
  • Pension deficit of £1,156.4m, £92.9m (7.4%) lower than January 2015

Sir Charlie Mayfield, Chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, commented:
‘This has been a solid first half for the Partnership in a difficult market. Both Waitrose and John Lewis are growing sales and increasing market share. Profit before tax and exceptionals was down by £33.8m to £96.0m, predominantly driven by higher pension charges arising from volatility in the market driven assumptions and last year’s property profits. Excluding these, at a trading level our profits were broadly level with last year, despite the turmoil in the grocery market. That reflects tight management of costs and the steps we have taken to strengthen the appeal of our trading brands, where we have seen an encouraging increase in the number of customers shopping with us.

Outlook 2015/16
Conditions in the market will remain difficult, especially in grocery where there is little sign of any price inflation. However, I expect sales in both Waitrose and John Lewis to perform comparatively well against the market, helped by promising new ranges and online capability.

For the full year, pension charges will be approximately £60m higher than the comparable figure last year, predominantly arising from volatility in the market driven assumptions. In the current market, even a strong trading performance is unlikely to offset this fully and therefore we expect to see Profit before Partnership Bonus, tax and exceptionals of between £270m and £320m, versus £342.7m last year. Despite this, through tight cash management, we expect to achieve a further reduction in our net debt.’

Financial Results
In the first six months of the year, the Partnership delivered robust sales growth. Both Waitrose and John Lewis grew sales ahead of their respective markets, increasing their market shares. Partnership gross sales (inc VAT) were £5.12bn, an increase of £105.2m, or 2.1%, on last year. Revenue, which is adjusted for sale or return sales and excludes VAT, was £4.55bn, up by £86.0m or 1.9%.

Partnership operating profit was £272.9m, up £96.8m, or 55.0% on last year. This includes exceptional income of £128.0m following the sale of the Clearings building. Excluding the exceptional item, operating profit was £144.9m, down £31.2m or 17.7% on last year.

Profit before tax was £224.0m, up by £94.2m, or 72.6% on last year. Excluding the exceptional item it was £96.0m, down by £33.8m or 26.0%.

Waitrose
Despite exceptionally tough conditions in the UK grocery market caused by falling prices and changing customer shopping patterns, our plans to create Modern Waitrose progressed well as we continued to outperform the industry on sales and increased our market share and volumes. Gross sales for the first half grew by 1.1% to £3.18bn, with like-for-like sales down 1.3%. We had on average 280,000 more customer transactions each week compared to the same period last year, total volume growth of 1.8% and our market share(9) grew to 5.1%.

Operating profit before property profits was up 0.6% to £135.5m, despite incremental costs for holiday pay and absorbing a greater share of centrally incurred functional costs. Effective management of our costs and capital expenditure, together with a focus on efficiency throughout the business, helped our profit position.

Because we are confident in our value, quality, provenance and service we have not joined the industry in across-the-board price cutting aimed at driving volume in the short-term. Our approach is to achieve sustainable sales growth through the targeted price investment of our ‘Pick Your Own Offers’ scheme which launched in June. This gives myWaitrose members the power to choose the ten products (from a list of nearly a thousand) on which they can save 20% every time they shop, whether in branch or online.

The scheme has had a strong take-up with 700,000 customers now taking part and is a clear example of how myWaitrose is enabling us to deepen our relationships with our customers. There has been a year-on-year 18% uplift in the number of active myWaitrose card holders.

Building our online business is also a key strategic driver. Although online grocery gross sales were down 13.0%, these were impacted by a strong promotion-driven performance last year. Average order value was up by 8.2%. We closed our Acton.com fulfilment centre in the half and our first purpose-built .com distribution centre opened in March on a seven acre site in Coulsdon, increasing our capacity to handle online orders in London by a third.

We opened five new branches in the first half, including one acquisition, two relocations and one convenience store, and announced the planned closure of two convenience stores. In August we opened a branch in Bagshot and there are five more core branches, two major redevelopments and one convenience store planned for the rest of this year.

Creating additional reasons for customers to visit branches in the online era is a key part of Modern Waitrose and the newly-opened core shops all have hospitality offers. Our hospitality business successfully taps into the growing trend for casual dining and showed increases of 23.5% in the first half.

We now have 114 cafes in our branches and 35 bakery grazing areas, with grazing planned for 26 more branches in the second half. In addition we now have outdoor seating in 82 branches.

Offering services is another way we attract customers into our branches. The popularity of Click & Collect continues to grow, with orders up nearly 50%, and we have introduced foreign exchange Click & Collect in 94 branches. Dry cleaning is now offered in 128 shops.

We continued to invest in transforming our IT capability, which is the enabler for strategic developments such as Pick Your Own and the growth of our online business. We are also using technology to improve customer service and to drive efficiency. Our customers were some of the first to use Apple Pay when it launched in the UK in July.

We also maintained investment in our supply chain and our first National Distribution Centre opened in Milton Keynes at the end of July and will handle 25,000 longer-life ambient products.

John Lewis
John Lewis saw solid sales growth in the first half, with gross sales of £1.94bn and like-for-like sales up 3.0%. Operating profit fell by 16.3% to £47.1m, impacted by restructuring costs, incremental costs for holiday pay and absorbing a greater share of centrally incurred functional costs. It also reflects the costs associated with the ongoing shift in both channel and fulfilment mix, a consequence of operating in an omni-channel world.

We continued to outperform both the BRC and IMRG- a good performance in the context of lower consumer confidence at the beginning of the year. The results are also achieved against a strong Spring / Summer season last year, with 2014 boosted by our 150 Year anniversary promotions and exceptional demand for Electricals and Home Technology (EHT) products in the run-up to the FIFA World Cup.

Gross sales in our fashion and home directorates accelerated during the period whilst EHT experienced a slower market.

  • Fashion was the standout performance, up 7.5%, with our strategy of combining an ambitious John Lewis own-brand offer with the best of other brands continuing to pay dividends. Menswear was particularly strong, up 10.5%, with John Lewis Kin tailoring up 23.9%. A new womenswear collaboration with the designer Bruce Oldfield started in September.
  • Sales in Home were up 4.9% – a good performance against the impact of the General Election and a late start to summer sales. Outdoor living was up 33.5%. Own-brand continues to be our star performer with our newest range, Croft, achieving an increase of 87.5%.
  • In EHT, sales fell by 0.7% against strong figures from the same period last year and impacted by a lack of new product launches in the home technology market. In the first half we launched sim-free mobile phones and announced a partnership with Vodafone to sell John Lewis mobile contracts. We have also announced that Apple Watch will be available in our shops, which will give us more momentum in technology sales for the second half.

Johnlewis.com gross sales(10) grew by 17.1% to £647m. Online returns to shops are currently deducted from shops sales, but from 2016/17 onwards we intend to change our reporting so that online returns to shops are deducted from online sales. After four years of consecutive growth, sales transacted in our shops were down by 1.8%, partly due to comparison to our 150 Year anniversary celebrations last year, but up 1.7% over a two year period. Our main focus continues to be on investing in both our shops and online to maintain and develop our omnichannel proposition.

John Lewis Birmingham, opening in September, will be our first full line department store to open in four years and represents a £35m investment in the heart of the UK’s second city. It will be the first to feature new concepts including an &Beauty spa. September also saw the reopening of our home department at Oxford Street after a £14m investment, which will showcase London’s largest single selection of home products and services, and underline our leadership in this key market. The first half saw the opening of a new at home shop in Horsham, which will be followed by a further at home shop in Basingstoke in October.

Our range of in-store services and experiences continued to expand during the half with the opening of three foreign exchange bureaus and the announcement of ten further Joe & the Juice or Rossopomodoro restaurants, and another in-store Opticians. We have expanded our international footprint, with shop-in-shops in Singapore and the Philippines joining our existing Korean sites.

Alongside our shop investment we continue to focus on the strength of our distribution model, with the announcement of a third national distribution centre in Milton Keynes. We are determined to build a sustainable model so that we deliver on our customer promises at Christmas. In addition, the introduction of a £30 threshold for free Click & Collect has gone smoothly.

Looking forward, Black Friday and Christmas will again be defined by the importance of logistics and operational excellence, coupled with ensuring our shops remain the ‘must visit’ destination on the high street. We go into the second half with confidence in both our ability to deliver outstanding customer service and in our strongest-ever product assortment.

Partnership Services and Group
Partnership Services and Group includes the operating costs for our Group offices and shared services, as well as the costs for transformation programmes and certain pension operating costs. Partnership Services and Group net operating costs decreased by £14.6m or 47.2% reflecting lower costs for transformation programmes and an increase in the share of functional costs charged to Waitrose and John Lewis. However, overall costs increased by £12.3m to £37.7m predominantly due to the increase in pension operating costs resulting from changes in financial assumptions.

Investment in the future
Capital investment in the first half of the year was £237.9m, a decrease of £94.2m (28.4%) on the previous year. However, we have continued to increase our investment in IT and distribution, which now represents 48% of our total capital investment.Investment in Waitrose was £114.8m, down £105.4m (47.9%) on the previous year, and in John Lewis investment was £109.2m, up £17.9m (19.6%).

Pensions
The pension operating cost was £122.4m, an increase of £30.3m or 32.9% on the prior year costs, predominantly reflecting the substantial decline in the real discount rate used to determine the cost to 0.35% at the beginning of the year from 1.10% at the beginning of the previous year. Pension finance costs were £18.5m, a decrease of £1.3m or 6.6% on the prior year, reflecting a reduction due to the lower discount rate partly offset by a higher accounting pension deficit at the beginning of the year than at the beginning of the previous year. As a result, total pension costs were £140.9m, an increase of £29.0m or 25.9% on the prior year.

Following the conclusion of the triennial actuarial valuation of our defined benefit pension scheme as at 31 March 2013, we agreed to increase the ongoing contribution rate to 16.4% of members’ gross taxable pay and put in place a plan to eliminate the deficit over a 10 year period through a one-off contribution and annual deficit reduction contributions. However, to secure long term debt at low interest rates, we issued a £300m bond in December 2014 and used the net proceeds of the issue to prepay almost 7 years of the previously-agreed deficit reduction contributions to the pension scheme. As a result, in the first half of the year total cash contributions to the pension scheme totalled £82.8m, a decrease of £17.8m or 17.7% on the prior year. Our next triennial actuarial valuation will take place as at 31 March 2016.

The total accounting pension deficit at 1 August 2015 was £1,156.4m, a decrease of £92.9m (7.4%) since 31 January 2015, mainly reflecting a marginal increase in the real discount rate used to value the liabilities. Net of deferred tax, the deficit was £944.1m. The accounting valuation of pension fund liabilities decreased by £11.0m (0.2%) to £5,290.0m, while pension fund assets increased by £81.9m (2.0%) to £4,133.6m.

The pension continues to be one of the most important benefits offered to Partners, but it also accounts for the greatest single investment made each year by the Partnership. The move to a hybrid pension scheme combining defined benefit and defined contribution pensions, where future pension risk is shared between Partners and the Partnership, was approved earlier this year. However, the changes will only start impacting our pension operating costs during 2016/17 and will take a number of years to be fully effected.

Financing
At 1 August 2015, net debt(11) was £664.6m, a decrease of £57.1m (7.9%) in the half year and £30.2m (4.3%) lower than 26 July 2014. Net debt decreased year-on-year, despite the issue of a £300m 4.25% bond in December 2014 with net proceeds contributed to the pension scheme. The reduction reflects our focus on cash generation, the reduction in capital investment and the completion of the sale of our Clearings building. We expect our net debt at the end of the year will be materially lower than at January 2015.

Net finance costs on borrowings and investments increased by £6.1m (24.4%) to £31.1m, reflecting the additional finance costs on the £300m bond issued in December 2014. After including the financing elements of pensions and long service leave and non-cash fair value adjustments, net finance costs increased by £2.6m (5.6%) to £48.9m.

Sustainability
Our sustainability strategy is bringing together the outcomes of our recent materiality assessment. We have prioritised the issues in our supply chains, our operations and our communities which are of greatest importance to our Partners, our stakeholders and the long-term commercial health of the business. Further details on our strategy and performance are included in our Annual Report & Accounts.

(5) Kantar
(6) Incremental costs to take paid overtime into account when calculating holiday pay for Partners
(7) Online returns to shops deducted from shop sales
(8) Net debt has been restated for 2014/15. See note 2 of the interim statement on page 12 for further details
(9) Kantar
(10) Online returns to shops deducted from shop sales
(11) Net debt has been restated for 2014/15. See note 2 of the interim statement on page 12 for further details

For more information view the unaudited condensed interim financial statements for the Half-year ended 1 August 2015(PDF 906KB).

Notes to editors
The John Lewis Partnership – The John Lewis Partnership operates 44 John Lewis shops across the UK, johnlewis.com, 340 Waitrose shops, waitrose.com and business to business contracts in the UK and abroad. The business has annual gross sales of over £10bn. It is the UK’s largest example of an employee-owned business where all 88,700 staff are Partners in the business.

Waitrose – the Nation’s Favourite Supermarket¹ and winner of the Best Supermarket² and Best Food and Grocery Retailer³ awards – currently has 340 shops in England, Scotland, Wales and the Channel Islands, including 61 convenience branches, and another 28 shops at Welcome Break locations.  It combines the convenience of a supermarket with the expertise and service of a specialist shop – dedicated to offering quality food that has been responsibly sourced, combined with high standards of customer service. Waitrose also exports its products to 53 countries worldwide and has seven shops which operate under licence in the Middle East. Waitrose’s omnichannel business includes the online grocery service,Waitrose.com, as well as direct services websites including a specialist wine website (waitrosecellar.com).

¹ Conlumino Awards, 2014
² Good Housekeeping Best Supermarket 2014, Which? Best Supermarket 2014, 2015
³ Verdict Best Food and Grocery Retailer 2015

John Lewis – John Lewis operates 44 John Lewis shops across the UK (31 department stores, 11 John Lewis at home and shops at St Pancras International and Heathrow Terminal 2) as well as johnlewis.com. John Lewis, ‘Best Clothing Retailer 2015’ , ‘Best Electricals Retailer 2015’ and ‘Best Homewares Retailer 2015’4, typically stocks more than 350,000 separate lines in its department stores across fashion, home and technology. Johnlewis.com stocks over 280,000 products, and is consistently ranked one of the top online shopping destinations in the UK. John Lewis Insurance offers a range of comprehensive insurance products – home, car, wedding and event, travel and pet insurance and life cover – delivering the values of expertise, trust and customer service expected from the John Lewis brand.4 Verdict Consumer Satisfaction Awards 2015

You can follow John Lewis on the following social media channels:
www.johnlewis.com/twitter
www.johnlewis.com/facebook
www.johnlewis.com/youtube.

Where this interim report contains forward-looking statement these are made by the Directors in good faith based on the information available to them up to the time of their approval of this report. These statements should be treated with caution due to inherent uncertainties underlying any such forward-looking information.

Enquiries
For further information please contact:

John Lewis Partnership
Andrew Moys, Director of Communications
Telephone: 07525 272377

Citigate Dewe Rogerson
Simon Rigby
Jos Bieneman
Telephone: 020 7638 9571

John Lewis
Peter Cross, Director, Communications
Telephone: 07764 697674
Ann Bryon, Head of External Communications
Telephone: 07767 304853

Waitrose
Christine Watts, Communications Director
Telephone: 07764 676414
Gill Smith, Senior Manager, Corporate PR
Telephone: 07887 898133

John Lewis Partnership hosts the inaugural Inspire EO conference

LONDON, 2015-2-5 — /EPR Retail News/ — John Lewis Partnership today hosts the inaugural Inspire EO conference, aimed at providing an insight into the benefits of giving private and public sector employees a stake in their business.

Employee ownership has been shown to produce fast employment and sales growth; lead to higher productivity and profitability; and give businesses greater resilience through times of economic difficulty. With a series of tax advantages coming into force since October, there has never been a better time to consider employee ownership.

Today’s conference, supported and sponsored by the Employee Ownership Association, KPMG,  Nationwide and CH2M HILL will be attended by approximately 350 delegates from new and existing businesses of all sizes, as well as public bodies.

Speakers will include Sir Charlie Mayfield, Chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, Chief Executives of leading employee owned businesses, senior politicians, legal & financial advisors.

Sir Charlie Mayfield, Chairman of John Lewis Partnership said:

‘Thanks to new measures introduced by this Government, there has never been a better time for companies to convert to employee ownership. With many more businesses making the change, I believe it is a model whose time has come and I’m delighted that so many businesses are attending the inaugural Inspire EO event.’

Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude said:

‘When the Coalition Government came to power our priority was to reduce the deficit so the country could pay its way in the world again. Central to this long-term economic plan was creating a diverse, responsible and sustainable economy for the future. Employee ownership can make a valuable contribution to this aim, because employee-owned firms have the kind of grit and resilience that our economy needs.

‘This was our rationale for encouraging public sector workers to form mutuals and take control of services. And it worked. Five years on there are now more than 100 mutuals, up from just nine in 2010. The results have been dramatic. Waste and average costs are down, while staff satisfaction is up. Many have also gone on to win further work, giving rise to growth and to new jobs.’

Iain Hasdell, Chief Executive, Employee Ownership Association said:

‘Businesses owned by their employees are playing a magnificent role in the UK’s economic recovery. They consistently outperform their competitors as a direct result of being employee owned.  In 2014 productivity in employee owned businesses grew by 4.5% when it remained flat in the rest of the economy, and profitability in businesses owned by their employees rose by 25%. Employee owners across the UK are laying the foundation stones for a new economy.’

Enquiries

For further information please contact:

John Lewis Partnership
Neil Spring, Group Senior External Communications Manager
Telephone: 020 7592 6292

Citigate Dewe Rogerson
Simon Rigby / Jos Bieneman
Telephone: 020 7638 9571

Loraine Woodhouse to join the Board of John Lewis Partnership plc on 1 December 2014 as Acting Group Finance Director

LONDON, 2014-11-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — The John Lewis Partnership announces that Loraine Woodhouse is to join the Board of John Lewis Partnership plc on 1 December 2014 as Acting Group Finance Director.

The Partnership announced on 17 November 2014 that Helen Weir, the Partnership’s Finance Director, had tendered her resignation with a six month notice period. Helen will step down from the Board on 1 December 2014 and commence gardening leave on 30 January 2015. In the meantime, Helen will conclude and handover various projects related to her role, ensuring a smooth transition.

Sir Charlie Mayfield, Chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, said: ‘I would like to thank Helen for the valuable contribution she has made during her time in the Partnership.’

Loraine Woodhouse joined the Partnership in August 2013 after leaving her previous role as Finance Director of fashion retailer Hobbs.

Sir Charlie Mayfield, Chairman of the John Lewis Partnership said: ‘I am delighted that Loraine has agreed to join the Board on an interim basis. Loraine has been leading our Group Finance Team and is perfectly placed to lead a seamless transition.’

Notes to Editors

The John Lewis Partnership – The John Lewis Partnership operates 43 John Lewis shops across the UK (31 department stores, 10 John Lewis at home and shops at St Pancras International and Heathrow Terminal 2), johnlewis.com, 332 Waitrose shops, waitrose.com and business to business contracts in the UK and abroad. The business has annual gross sales of over £10bn. It is the UK’s largest example of worker co-ownership where all 90,000 staff are Partners in the business.

Enquiries

For further information please contact:

John Lewis Partnership
Neil Spring, Group Senior External Communications Manager
Telephone: 020 7592 6292

Citigate Dewe Rogerson
Simon Rigby
Telephone: 020 7638 9571

The John Lewis Partnership appoints Keith Hubber General Counsel and Company Secretary

LONDON, 2014-10-21— /EPR Retail News/ — The John Lewis Partnership announces that Keith Hubber has been appointed General Counsel and Company Secretary with effect from 1 February 2015.

Keith is an experienced Corporate Lawyer and Company Secretary. He joins us from BG group where he has spent 13 years, first as a corporate lawyer and then, from 2007, as Company Secretary, moving to Deputy General Counsel in 2011.

Sir Charlie Mayfield, Chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, said: ‘I am delighted to welcome Keith to the Partnership. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Alan Buchanan for the excellent contribution he has made during his time as interim Director of Legal Services.’

Alan will remain in post as interim Director of Legal Services and Company Secretary until the end of January 2015, to enable Keith, who joins in December, to have a full induction to the Partnership.

Notes to editors:

The John Lewis Partnership – The John Lewis Partnership operates 43 John Lewis shops across the UK (31 department stores, 10 John Lewis at home and shops at St Pancreas International and Heathrow Terminal 2), johnlewis.com, 329 Waitrose shops, waitrose.com and business to business contracts in the UK and abroad. The business has annual gross sales of over £10bn. It is the UK’s largest example of employee-owned business with over 90,000 staff who are all Partners in the business.

Enquiries

For further information please contact:

John Lewis Partnership
Neil Spring,
Group Senior External Communications Officer
Telephone: 020 7592 6296

Citigate Dewe Rogerson
Simon Rigby / Jos Bieneman
Telephone: 020 7638 9571

John Lewis Partnership plc reports unaudited condensed Interim Financial Statements for the half year ended 26 July 2014

LONDON, 2014-9-12— /EPR Retail News/ — Unaudited condensed Interim Financial Statements for the half year ended 26 July 2014
Strict Stock Exchange Embargo, 7.00am

Growing customer numbers drive sales in a changing market

Financial Summary

 

Waitrose John Lewis Partnership
£m Change £m Change £m Change
Gross sales 3,146 4.1% 1,865 9.4% 5,011 6.0%
LFL sales(1) 1.3% 8.2%
Revenue 2,967 4.2% 1,494 9.0% 4,461 5.7%
Operating profit before exceptional item(2)(3) 145.2 (9.4)% 56.3 62.2%(4) 176.1 8.6%
Operating profit(3) 176.1 53.3%
PBT before exceptional item(2)(3) 129.8 12.1%
PBT(3) 129.8 89.5%

1 Waitrose like-for-like sales excludes petrol
2  Exceptional charge of £47.3m last year following review of holiday pay policy
3 Includes property profits of £10.5m in Waitrose and £0.5m in Group (2013/14: nil)
4  Includes restructuring costs of £15.4m in 2013/14

Operational Highlights

Waitrose

  • Sales continued to outperform the industry, for the 62nd consecutive month(5); market share increased to 5%
  • Total online services gross sales of £161m, with online grocery gross sales up 54%
  • Operating profit impacted by substantial levels of investment across the business and the market(5) sales slowdown
  • 15 new branches opened, 11 more than in the same period last year
  • 670,000 more weekly customer transactions(6)
  • Membership of myWaitrose scheme up to 4.8 million

John Lewis

  • Sales growth and market share increases across all categories
  • Online sales of £552m, up 25.6% and now representing over 30% of merchandise sales; shop sales increased by 3.6%
  • Opened new full line flexible format shop in York and first airport shop in Heathrow Terminal 2
  • Customers and Partners celebrated 150th anniversary
  • First phase of second National Distribution Centre in Milton Keynes completed

(5) Source:Kantar
(6) Including myWaitrose benefits

Sir Charlie Mayfield, Chairman of John Lewis Partnership, commented:
‘Partnership sales grew strongly at 6%, with Waitrose and John Lewis both outperforming their respective markets. Profit before tax and exceptionals is ahead of last year by 12%, but is broadly flat after excluding property profits.

Our sales growth was driven by more customers shopping with Waitrose and John Lewis, with customer numbers up by over 6% and 4% respectively. This reflects the growing appeal of our omni-channel offer across both brands, including the success of Click & Collect, which now accounts for more than half of John Lewis orders placed online, and the popularity of the myWaitrose and my John Lewis programmes, which are encouraging customers to shop more frequently with us across all of our channels.

Profit before tax and exceptional item, of £129.8m, is 12% ahead of last year, benefiting from property profits of £11m. Operating profits in John Lewis rose by 62% (£22m), offset by a decline in Waitrose operating profits of 9% (£15m). The strong profit performance in John Lewis reflects robust sales growth across all categories, especially in the higher margin ‘Home’ category, and good cost control across the business.  In Waitrose, profits were lower as a result of a much higher level of investment in new branches and accelerating the growth of the business through investment in Waitrose.com and the myWaitrose programme, as well as the challenging market conditions. However, Waitrose sales performance continued to be well ahead of the market.

Across the Partnership we continued to step up our level of investment in our systems and supply chain, with total capital investment almost doubling versus last year.

Our first half performance has been hard won. I want to acknowledge the tremendous efforts of all Partners, our co-owners, in achieving these results through a period of significant change, including implementing new IT systems and adopting new ways of working.’

Outlook 2014/15
The outlook in the grocery sector remains challenging and we expect that to continue to be the case for some time. In contrast, trading conditions in the non-food sector are more positive than has been the case for several years.

Against this backdrop, we have had an encouraging start to the second half. For the first six weeks of the second half, Partnership gross sales are up 7.5%. Waitrose gross sales have increased by 5.2% (0.9% like-for-like, excluding petrol) and John Lewis gross sales are 11.3% higher than last year (9.7% like-for-like).

Looking ahead, as always, much will depend on Christmas trading, plans for which look excellent. While we expect the grocery sector to remain challenging, we anticipate sales at both Waitrose and John Lewis will continue to outperform their respective markets in the second half, reflecting the strength of both brands.

Financial Results
In the first six months of the year, the Partnership delivered good sales growth. Both Waitrose and John Lewis grew sales well ahead of their respective markets, increasing their market shares. Partnership gross sales (inc VAT) were £5.01bn, an increase of £282.3m, or 6.0%, on last year. Revenue, which is adjusted for sale or return sales and excludes VAT, was £4.46bn, up by £242.4m or 5.7%.

Partnership operating profit was £176.1m, up £61.2m, or 53.3% on last year. After excluding last year’s exceptional item, it was up by £13.9m or 8.6%.

Profit before tax was £129.8m, up by £61.3m, or 89.5% on last year. After excluding last year’s exceptional item it was up by £14.0m or 12.1%.

Waitrose
Gross sales in the first half grew by 4.1% to £3.15bn with like-for-like sales up 1.3%. This sales performance was delivered in a period of significant structural change for UK food retail. Operating profit for the half was down by 9.4% to £145.2m, however this performance benefited from property profits of £10.5m (2013: nil). The decline in profit was mainly as a result of the substantial levels of investment made across the business and, to a lesser extent, the tough market conditions. Like-for-like sales were ahead, despite the market conditions, price investment and strong comparative growth in the same period last year.

Our market share grew to 5% and we had on average 670,000 more customer transactions a week, compared to the same period last year.

Being employee-owned allows us to take a long-term view about what is right for our customers and our business. We have maintained the level of investment needed to create the modern Waitrose. Our significant investments in new and existing space, online, convenience, price, hospitality, services and in deepening our understanding of our customers, positions us well for the future.

Our programme of investment in new and existing shops scaled up in the first half. We opened 15 new branches, compared with four new branches and one relocation in the same period last year. We also opened in five additional Welcome Break locations.

We have continued to invest in our core estate, carrying out three major refurbishments and one significant extension (compared to none in the same period last year) and revamping the front of store in a further 40 shops with welcome desks (compared to 15 in the same period last year) and a further 76 shops with horticulture pods (compared to 44 in the same period last year).

In addition, we are developing our supply chain infrastructure to support future growth and the expansion of multichannel retailing. Our new distribution centre in Leyland became fully operational in the half, and we began work on Waitrose’s first National Distribution Centre at Magna Park in Milton Keynes.

Waitrose.com was an area of significant investment and performed strongly in the period with grocery gross sales up 54%. We recruited 46,000 new customers and increased the number of delivery slots available by 79% compared with the same period last year. We launched the new Cellar wine website in May and we will shortly launch Click & Collect for Cellar orders. We are also increasing the number of branches offering Click & Collect for Waitrose grocery orders. In addition, more branches will be handling Click & Collect for John Lewis orders, supported by new processes that will make the service more efficient and faster.

We continued to invest in price during the half. This includes matching Tesco on branded products (excluding promotions) and Sainsbury on own-label, increased promotional participation and special deals for our myWaitrose customers, including 10% off hundreds of everyday products every week.

We saw continued strong take-up of the myWaitrose card and the associated offers and the number of myWaitrose customers now stands at 4.8 million. As well as driving incremental sales, myWaitrose is transforming our understanding of customers and allows us to target and personalise our marketing communications.

We invested in innovative marketing campaigns, including developing our own content for Waitrose TV, launching Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose on Channel 4, as well as launching our new brand advertising focusing on the difference our Partners make.

Along with the best service, top quality products are at the heart of our brand. Product innovation continued apace with the launch of the new Alan Titchmarsh and Waitrose gardening range, Asian Fusion ready meals and the great value Pure beauty range. Our successful essential Waitrose range topped 2,500 products as it celebrated its fifth birthday, while our Heston from Waitrose range has been further expanded.

John Lewis
Gross sales in the first half were up 9.4% to £1.87bn, with like-for-like sales up 8.2%. Operating profit increased by 62.2% to £56.3m.

Our strategy of combining the best brands with an ambitious John Lewis own-brand offer is resulting in sales growth and market share gains across all three categories.

  • Home increased by 7.4%, driven in part by the revitalisation of the housing market. Although ‘House’ remained our biggest brand in Home, the introduction of the ‘Croft’ range proved popular as customers looked for a balance between classic and contemporary design.
  • Fashion was up 9.1%, with online fashion sales growth particularly strong at 33.9%.  In response to the continued success of our own-brand offer, we recently launched our first John Lewis & Co. men’s formalwear collection.
  • Electricals and Home Technology (EHT) delivered growth of 11.7%. For the first time we introduced a John Lewis own-brand smart TV, and our minimum two-year guarantee commitment continues to be a key differentiator for customers.

A year on from launching our new web platform, johnlewis.com sales are up 25.6%, outperforming the industry (IMRG) by 16% in the first half. The online business now accounts for over 30% of John Lewis merchandise sales. Click & Collect sales have grown by nearly 50% and now make up over half of online orders. In addition, a continued focus on our mobile strategy has led to over half the traffic to johnlewis.com coming from mobile and tablet devices. This Christmas the cut-off time for ordering for next day collection will be extended to 8pm, complemented by the addition of over 90 new Waitrose locations and the nationwide rollout of CollectPlus.

Investment has continued in new and existing shops as we continue to develop our portfolio. John Lewis York opened in April and, combined with the success of our Exeter shop, demonstrates that there is a role for a smaller department store format to complement regional flagships and at home branches in our future growth. Our first airport shop at Heathrow Terminal 2 opened in June and, as part of our ongoing efforts to meet customers’ demand for more convenient ways to shop, we announced that a new ‘Click & Commute’ shop will open this autumn at St Pancras station. Our next full-line department store will open in Birmingham in 2015, along with shops in Basingstoke and Horsham.

We have also invested in new social experiences in our shops. July marked the opening of two restaurants in John Lewis Oxford Street, Italian restaurant Rossopomodoro and the UK’s first outlet of Ham Holy Burger, building on the successful launch of Hotel Chocolat and Joe & Juice cafés last year.

Investment in systems and infrastructure continued apace, with the completion of building work at John Lewis’ second National Distribution Centre in Milton Keynes allowing the site to be used as support for existing operations ahead of full operations starting in 2016.

Our 150th anniversary was a unique opportunity to create memorable experiences for our customers and Partners, as well as to collaborate with famous brands to create special edition products. For the first time, we opened the roof garden of our Oxford Street shop and built an interactive exhibition to tell the story of the Partnership. These experiences were enjoyed by more than 150,000 customers. We celebrated our role as the Official Department Store Provider to the Commonwealth Games with a pop-up urban garden in Glasgow city centre, and our brand benefited from its association with a celebrated national event.

Innovation remains key to staying ahead in a competitive retail market and the launch of JLAB, our first-ever technology business incubator, has opened us up to innovative ideas from start-up companies. More than 500 small businesses registered their interest in the chance of a £100,000 investment and the opportunity to trial their technology in our shops.

Partnership Services and Group
Partnership Services and Group includes the operating activities for our Group offices and shared services as well as the costs for transformation programmes and certain pension operating costs. Partnership Services and Group net operating costs decreased by £7.3m to £25.4m.

Investment in the future
Capital investment in the first half of the year was £332.1m, an increase of £166.5m (100.5%) on the previous year. This includes £90.5m invested in freehold properties, an increase of £66.2m on the previous year, and includes seven freehold branches purchased from the Co-operative.

The majority of our spend continues to be invested in our store base, either on new stores or the refurbishment of existing ones. However, to enhance the agility and robustness of our systems and infrastructure, we almost doubled our capital investment in distribution and IT.

Investment in Waitrose was £220.2m, up £120.4m (120.6%) on the previous year, and in John Lewis investment was £91.3m, up £37.1m (68.5%).

Pensions
The pension operating cost was £92.1m, an increase of £8.1m or 9.6% on the prior year costs before the exceptional item, reflecting changes to financial assumptions and growth in scheme membership.  Pension finance costs were £19.8m, an increase of £2.1m or 11.9% on the prior year, reflecting a higher accounting pension deficit at the beginning of the year than at the beginning of the previous year. As a result, total pension costs were £111.9m, an increase of £10.2m or 10.0% before last year’s exceptional item.

Following the conclusion of the triennial actuarial valuation of our defined benefit pension scheme as at 31 March 2013, we agreed to increase the ongoing contribution rate to 16.4% of members’ gross taxable pay and put in place a plan to eliminate the deficit over a 10 year period through a one-off contribution and annual deficit reduction contributions. In the first half of the year total contributions to the pension scheme totalled £100.6m, an increase of £43.2m or 75.3% on the prior year.

The total accounting pension deficit at 26 July 2014 was £1,029.0m, an increase of £25.6m (2.6%) since 25 January 2014.  Net of deferred tax, the deficit was £843.5m. The accounting valuation of pension fund liabilities increased by £218.8m (5.2%) to £4,437.0m, while pension fund assets increased by £193.2m (6.0%) to £3,408.0m.

The pension continues to be one of the most important benefits offered to Partners, but it also accounts for the greatest single investment made each year by the Partnership. The review of the pension scheme, to ensure that it can remain fair to Partners and affordable from a business perspective, is ongoing with a revised draft proposal published in July. The proposal is to move to a hybrid scheme combining defined benefit and defined contribution pensions, where future pension risk is shared between Partners and the Partnership. Partners remain at the centre of the review as co-owners of the business and have the opportunity to share their views.  A decision is expected to be reached by Partnership Council and the Partnership Board in early 2015 following consultation with Partners.

Financing
Net finance costs on borrowings and investments decreased by £4.5m (15.3%) to £25.0m. After including the financing elements of pensions and long service leave and non-cash fair value adjustments, net finance costs decreased by £0.1m (0.2%) to £46.3m.

At 26 July 2014, net debt was £755.9m, an increase of £270.1m (55.6%) in the half year and £262.5m (53.2%) higher than 27 July 2013.  The year-on-year increase reflects the funding to support the significant step up in capital investment across the Partnership.  We expect net debt at the end of the year to be at a broadly similar level to January 2014.

Sustainability
Consistent with our belief in the importance of taking a long-term view, this year we are undertaking a thorough review of the medium to long-term CSR challenges facing the business. This will inform our business plans moving forward and ensure we continue to reduce our environmental impact, while supporting communities where we trade and maintaining scrupulous relations with our suppliers around the world.

Meanwhile, we have continued to deliver against our existing ambitious commitments.  For example, our new John Lewis branch in York, which opened in April, is the lowest carbon branch on the John Lewis estate and includes many innovative design features to support the local area’s biodiversity. The branch has been assessed as Outstanding under the BREEAM rating system for buildings. To date, the Partnership remains the only retailer to have achieved the ‘Outstanding’ rating for any of its stores.

Our business has always recognised the importance of building sustainable supply chains and working closely with suppliers and communities.  We were delighted that, on World Oceans Day, Waitrose was named Best Certified Fish Counter 2014, for selling the broadest range of Marine Stewardship Council certified options of any UK supermarket.  Waitrose also relaunched its national ‘Grow and Sell’ scheme to encourage schoolchildren to produce food and sell it; the scheme has nearly trebled in size since it launched, teaching children land management and entrepreneurial skills.  In India, a new school, funded by the John Lewis Foundation, opened in Bhadohi, a region where a number of our rug suppliers are located, providing much needed access to education for girls, and signalling our long-term commitment to the area.

Notes to editors
The John Lewis Partnership – The John Lewis Partnership operates 42 John Lewis shops across the UK (31 department stores, 10 John Lewis at home and a shop at Heathrow Terminal 2), johnlewis.com, 326 Waitrose shops, waitrose.com and business to business contracts in the UK and abroad. The business has annual gross sales of over £10bn. It is the UK’s largest example of employee-owned business with over 90,000 staff who are all Partners in the business.

Waitrose – the Nation’s Favourite Supermarket¹ and winner of the BestSupermarket² and Best Food and Grocery Retailer³ awards – currently has 326 shops in England, Scotland, Wales and the Channel Islands, including 51 convenience branches, and another 28 shops at Welcome Break locations. It combines the convenience of a supermarket with the expertise and service of a specialist shop – dedicated to offering quality food that has been responsibly sourced, combined with high standards of customer service.  Waitrose also exports its products to 50 countries worldwide and has seven shops in the Middle East.

¹ Conlumino Awards, 2014
² Good Housekeeping Best Supermarket 2014, Which? Best Supermarket 2014
³ Verdict Best Food and Grocery Retailer 2014

John Lewis – John Lewis, ‘Multichannel Retailer of the Year 2014’4, ‘Best Overall Retailer’5 and ‘Best Retailer 2014’6, typically stocks more than 350,000 separate lines in its department stores across fashion, home and technology. Johnlewis.com stocks over 250,000 products, and is consistently ranked one of the top online shopping destinations in the UK. (www.johnlewis.com). John Lewis Insurance offers a range of comprehensive insurance products – home, car, wedding and event, travel and pet insurance and life cover – delivering the values of expertise, trust and customer service expected from the John Lewis brand.

4 Oracle Retail Week Awards 2014
5 Verdict Consumer Satisfaction Awards 2014
6 Which? Awards 2014

You can follow John Lewis on the following social media channels:
www.johnlewis.com/twitter
www.johnlewis.com/facebook
www.johnlewis.com/youtube.

Where this interim report contains forward-looking statement these are made by the directors in good faith based on the information available to them up to the time of their approval of this report. These statements should be treated with caution due to inherent uncertainties underlying any such forward-looking information.

For more information view the unaudited condensed interim financial statements for the Half-year ended 26 July 2014(PDF 218KB).

Enquiries
For further information please contact:

John Lewis Partnership
Andrew Moys, Director of Communications
Telephone: 07525 272377
Neil Spring, Senior Communications Manager
Telephone: 07890 777464

Citigate Dewe Rogerson
Simon Rigby / Jos Bieneman
Telephone: 020 7638 9571

John Lewis
Peter Cross, Director, Communications
Telephone: 07764 697674
Louise Cooper, Head of External Communications
Telephone: 07808 574117

Waitrose
Christine Watts, Communications Director
Telephone: 07764 676414
Gill Smith, Senior Manager, Corporate PR
Telephone: 07887 898133