The John Lewis Partnership (JLP) has said the five-year transformation plan launched by the retail group in 2020 will take two years longer than planned as it posted another half-year loss.
Nevertheless, the group, which runs the department store chain and Waitrose supermarket arm, saw pre-tax losses narrow by 41 per cent to £59m for the six months to July 29.
JLP said the “Partnership Plan” it launched in 2020, with the target of a £400m profit by 2025/26, was now going to take until 2027/28 due to “inflationary pressures”.
It added that investment in its strategy and customers was going to “take precedence” over its annual bonus for staff members.
Dame Sharon White, chair of the group, said workers will need to take the “mindset of owners” as JLP continues efforts to improve its finances.
“Our partners are the centre of the partnership and can hopefully see that right decisions are being made,” she said.
“They have to take the mindset of owners here. If the roof of your house needs mending, everyone there would work together to get it fixed.
“We are doing all we can and we will see what position we are in come March.”
At the start of this year, the employee-owned group said it would not hand staff a bonus for only the second time since 1953 after falling to a hefty annual loss in the previous financial year.
Dame Sharon stressed that the company’s performance “picks up” more strongly over the second half of the year after being asked whether the latest results pointed towards another annual loss.
On Thursday, the group also recorded a 2 per cent increase in sales across the partnership to £5.8bn as it hailed higher demand for beauty and fashion products but reduced demand for “technology and big-ticket home items”.