Friday 16 October 2020 12:14 pm

John Lewis unveils five-year plan to return to profit

John Lewis Partnership has set out plans to return to profit, with a £1bn investment in boosting its online business and a focus on expanding its non-retail offering.

The firm this morning said it is aiming to report £400m in profit by the end of the five-year transformation plan. 

Read more: John Lewis scraps staff bonus as it crashes to £635m loss

The department store chain, which also owns Waitrose, wants to become a 60 to 70 per cent online business, with 40 per cent of profits coming from non-retail in 2030.

The company provided an update on its plans to develop its financial services offering as well as its move into residential real estate. 

John Lewis has identified 20 sites above or next door to a current Waitrose store that could be transformed into housing. 

It is already seeking planning permission on two properties in Greater London. 

The company also announced that from early 2021 it will be working with Munich Re’s Digital Partners, ICE Insuretech, Sedgwick, and Hood Group to deliver a new home insurance product.

Meanwhile, in store the company will introduce product ranges at lower price points, as it continues to review its Never Knowingly Undersold pledge.

John Lewis chairman Sharon White said: “We’ve seen five years of change in the past five months and Waitrose and John Lewis have responded with great agility. Our plan means the John Lewis Partnership will thrive for the next century, as it has the last.” 

Read more: John Lewis mulls cutting Oxford Street flagship store space by 40 per cent

“We’re adapting successfully to how customers want to shop today, while showing the partnership is improving lives and building a more sustainable future. We’ll share our success with our customers, partners – who own the business – and our communities.”

Nina Bhatia, executive director of strategy and commercial development at the John Lewis Partnership, added: “We’re creating new inspirational services for customers where strong ethical values and peace of mind matter, like reusing and recycling products, personal savings and rented housing. Our plans will firmly establish Waitrose and John Lewis as the go-to brands for customers that care about quality, value, and sustainability.”