John Lewis raises £50m in bonds

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The Independent Online

John Lewis Partnership, the group behind the eponymous department store and grocer Waitrose, has reached its target of raising £50m through a bond issue more than three weeks ahead of its final deadline.

JLP opened subscriptions to the corporate bond to its qualifying 1.5 million account card and partnership card customers on 7 March, and set a cut-off of the evening of 11 April.

The bond offered a fixed annual income of 4.5 per cent in cash, with a further 2 per cent in the form of gift vouchers. Charlie Mayfield, the chairman of JLP, said: "The reaction of our cardholders and partners [staff] has been extremely encouraging. To have reached £50m of subscriptions in less than two weeks after launch shows that our customers and partners valued a mix of gift vouchers and cash return totalling 6.5 per cent."

Meanwhile, John Lewis said that its sales dipped by 1.8 per cent to £52.2m in the week to 12 March, although the same period last year included Mother's Day. Following a storming 2010, the retailer's performance has been more subdued this year.