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John Lewis & Partners returns to profit

John Lewis Partnership (JLP), comprising Waitrose and John Lewis, has announced its return to profit. After facing a challenging period in 2022/23, the profit before tax and exceptional items surged to £42 million, marking a substantial improvement of £120 million compared to the previous year's loss of £78 million.

The upturn was attributed to sales growth, an enhancement in gross margin rate, and sustainable productivity enhancements. Although staff will not receive a bonus this year, overall pay will increase by £116 million in 2024, marking it as a "record investment."

Photo © Thinglass |

Within the John Lewis business, profitability improved, supported by an augmented gross margin rate and productivity. Despite sales dipping to £4.8 billion (-4%), the retailer attracted a record 13.4 million customers.

The partnership introduced over 170 new brands and witnessed customers turning to John Lewis for unbiased advice, with over 200 partners dedicated to fashion personal styling (appointments up +27%), nursery (appointments up +25%), and home (appointments up +5%).

In response to customer feedback, the partnership launched new payment options for customers wanting to pay in stages. Additionally, John Lewis remained committed to competitive pricing throughout the year.

Looking ahead, the partnership is focused on providing a superior retail experience for customers while simplifying its operations and improving productivity. Significant investments are planned to modernise technology, refresh stores, and enhance the customer offer.


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