John Lewis Partnership, the parent company of the two high street giants, has confirmed plans to cut around 1000 management roles in stores.
In a move that echoes rival retailers’ attempts to weather the pandemic, the company said the 1000 role redundancies were an attempt to simplify store management structures.
A John Lewis Partnership spokesperson said: “We have announced to our Partners our intention to simplify our management structures in Waitrose and John Lewis stores, which will allow us to reinvest in what matters most to our customers.”
It comes after a difficult year for the company’s department store chain John Lewis, whose value almost halved during the pandemic.
In March, the 157-year old partnership announced it would not reopen eight stores after lockdown restrictions eased, putting almost 1,500 jobs at risk.
Profit before exceptional items was £131m in March, but the department store chain would have posted a loss if not for Covid-related support from the government.
Only last month, John Lewis told City A.M that the John Lewis Partnership’s ambition is that 40 per cent of profits will come from new, non-retail, lines of business by 2030.
Andrew Murphy, the longest-serving senior executive at the company, said: “Retail was a challenged sector before March 2020 and the events of the last year have heightened that and accelerated some key trends – like the shift to online – so we have to continue to adapt and evolve really quickly and confidently.”
There are 331 Waitrose stores and 34 John Lewis stores currently operating across the UK – which translates to a reduction of around 2.7 roles per store, the company said.